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Pushkar Camel Fair

November 18, 2012 by  

Pushkar Camel Fair, An astonishing 50,000 camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar, in India’s state of Rajasthan, for the annual Pushkar Fair. It’s a fascinating and peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness an old traditional style Indian festival.

The original intention behind the Pushkar Camel Fair was to attract local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival, held in Pushkar around the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika. The fair has now also become a major tourist attraction.

When is the Pushkar Camel Fair Celebrated:
Usually in November, depending on the cycle of the moon. The camel action takes place early in the festival, after which time the focus shifts to heightened religious celebrations. In 2012, the dates for the Pushkar Fair are November 20-28. Camel trading and other activities will start from November 20 and will wind up by November 24. Be sure to come early to see the fair in full swing!

Where is the Pushkar Camel Fair Celebrated:
In the small town of Pushkar, near Ajmer, located on the edge of the Thar Desert in the state of Rajasthan.
How is the Pushkar Camel Fair Celebrated:
For five days, the camels are dressed up, paraded, shaved, entered into beauty contests, raced, and traded. A huge carnival is held, with an array of musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers and carousel rides to entertain the crowd.
What Rituals are Performed During the Pushkar Camel Fair:
Pilgrims come to this festival to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar’s lake and be absolved of their sins. The two days around the full moon are considered to be the most auspicious time of the year for bathing in the lake. Those who bathe on the day of the full moon are said to receive special blessings.
What Can Be Expected at the Pushkar Camel Fair:
The sand dunes appear infested with camels as far as the eyes can see and the population of Pushkar swells to over 200,000 people, with an inflow of pilgrims, camel traders, and tourists. It’s a fascinating and peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness an old traditional style Indian festival. The highlight is definitely the camel races, although the comical beauty contests featuring elaborately adorned and shaved camels are also amusing.

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