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Fairs And Festivals

Navratri, literally means nine nights, but is celebrated for 10 days, preceding the festival of Dussehra-usually in October. Navratri being the most eagerly awaited festival of the year, which celebrates harvest time, is an occasion when both rural and urban Gujaratis worship the nine incarnations of the Mother Goddess, Shakti, denoting cosmic energy.

Diwali is the famous festival of lights. It has its genesis from the epic-Ramayana. It is the only Hindu celebration which falls on Amavasya, a moon-less night in the lunar calendar.

Celebrated on January 14, the festival of Makar Sankranti heralds the kite-flying season and the International Kite Festival is held in Ahmedabad on that day every year.

Celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami usually falls in the months of July/August and is celebrated with great fervor in Gujarat.

The small hamlet of Tarnetar, about 75 kilometers from Rajkot, is the site for one of Gujarat's most well known annual fairs, held here during the first week of Bhadrapad (September-October). This three day long fair is primarily a 'marriage mart', called swayamwar, where gaily attired young men, in their traditional attire, come to be chosen by village belles dressed in colorful finery.

Other festivals of Gujarat include the Bhavnath fair, Dang Darbar, Saputara Summer Festival, Madhavrai fair, and Desert Festival.

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