|Despite its French character, Pondicherry is essentially Indian. The zest for festivals here is much the same as elsewhere in the country. Mascarade or the Mask Festival is held in March-April when costumed merry-makers parade the streets-the French version of holi in North India.
On Masimagam, the full moon day of Magam in February-March, idols from various neighbourhood temples are taken out for immersion in the sea. The seafront is lined with thousands of people keen to watch the spectacle.
Indo-French war pageantry is presented on the eve of Bastille Day, a French commemoration.
International Yoga Festival is held at Aurobindo Ashram in the month of January every year. Other important festivals of Pondicherry are Sani Peyarchi Festival, which is organized once every three years, and Panguni Uthiram in the month of March-April every year.
A car festival is held in May-June at Villianur Temple, dedicated to Thirukameshwara. Another car festival takes place in August every year at Chenghazunir Amman Temple at Veera Pattinam village, seven kilometers south of Pondicherry.