Festivals of West Bengal:
West Bengal is a land of exquisite fairs & festivals, the most well-known being the Durga Puja festival, Kalipuja, Gangasagar Mela, Paus Mela, Vasanta Utsav, Kenduli Mela, or Holi, Rathajatra, Christmas, Id & Muharram. Beside these religious festivals there are culture and tourism festivals most famous of them being Kolkata book Fair, the Kolkata International Flim festival, Vishnupur Festival, East Himalayas Tourism festival so for known as Teesta Tea Festival & Teesta-Ganga Festival.
Durga Puja Festivals:
Durga Puja Festival lasting 5 days during the month of September to October. This celebrates the triumph of Goddess Durga over the evil Mahishasura and is celebrated with utmost excitement, pomp and grandeur and piety throughout the state. A visit to Kolkata during Durga Puja is unforgettable. The pandals mostly constructed on the lines of monuments and heritage buildings with innovative illumination and Durga idols are works of exquisite art.
Kalipuja and Saraswati Puja:
Kalipuja and Saraswati Puja are also important festivals celebrated throughout the state in the months of October to November and January to February respectively. Kalipuja coincides with Diwali.
Ganga Sagar Mela:
Ganga Sagar Mela is celebrated in the 24 Parganas South is the largest fair held annually on the Sagar Island in the confluence on the Holy Ganga and the Bay of Bengal at the time of Makar Sankranti in the month of mid January. Lakhs of Sadhus and pilgrims congregate here from all over the country to visit the Kapil Muni Temple and to take a holy dip in the sea. The best and the most comfortable way to access Ganga sagar Mela is to avail oneself to the package tour operated by W.B. Tourism Development Corporation with M.V. Sarbajaya or M.V. Chitrarekha. Govt. of West Bengal and large number of Private operate special bus/lunch services tour operators on the occasion of the Mela. For overnight stay Diamond Harbour Tourist Lodge (Popularly known as Sagarika) would be ideal.
Kenduli Mela celebrated in the Dist Birbhum is also held on the occasion of Makar Sankranti in the month of January on the banks of Ajoy River. This mela draws the largest number of ‘Bauls’, the wandering minstrels of Bengal and is a great attraction to tourists. The Mela can be most comfortable accessed from Shantiniketan Tourist lodge of the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation at Bolpur.
Rathayatra on the month of June to July at Mahesh, close to Kolkata, is a weeklong festival. People throng to have a share in pilling the long ropes attached to the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra on the journey from the temple and back. In Kolkata Rathayatra is organised by the international Society for Krishana Consciousness (ISKCON) with pomp and grandeur.
Christmas / Id / Muharram:
Christmas / Id / Muharram are held by the minority communities with piety and pomp. Special mention may be made of Christmas and Easter celebrated by the Christians, Id / Muharram by the Muslim and Guru Nanak’s Birthday and other Sikh festivals by the Sikhs.
Vasanta Utsav is celebrated in the Shantiniketan; District Birbhum is a Specially rendition of Holi – the festival of colours observed by the student of Tagore’s Viswabharati University. The festival welcomes the season of spring with songs, dances and the spraying of abir (gulal). Shantiniketan Tourist lodge would be one of the best to accommodate tourist provided booking is done well ahead.
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore started Paus Mela at Shantiniketan, in District Birbhum. This unique festival held in the month of December to January every year draws people from all over the state and the country. The Paus Mela is not only a festivity but also an occasion for display / sale of traditional handicrafts / handloom goods. Shantiniketan Tourist Lodge would be one of the best to accommodate tourist provided booking is done well ahead.
Kolkata Boi Mela:
Kolkata Boi Mela, also known as Book Fair, is a unique and great cultural and literary event. Held every year from the end of January till early February, this 12 day long book fair is held over a large chunk of Kolkata. This is one of the largest books fair in the world where the leading national and the International publishing concerns participate.
International Film Festival In Kolkata:
International Film Festival In Kolkata held every November between 10 and 17 is a gala event, showing films in various theatres, holding seminars, exhibitions and book bazaars, attracting large crows of film-lovers. The hub of all activities is Nandan – a great cultural complex.
India Industrial Trade Fair:
India Industrial Trade Fair is held every year during December gaining wide renown.
Vishnupur Festival is held at the end of December every year at Vishnupur, the temple town, in the district of Bankura.
East Himalayas Tourist Festival:
East Himalayas Tourist Festival so for known as Teesta Tea & Tourism Festival is an unique tourism festival organised jointly by West Bengal Tourism, Sikkim Tourism and Darjeeling Tourism in the month of December – January with support and assistance of the Ministry of Tourism and culture, Government of India. Its objective is to promote the east Himalayas – part of which are Darjeeling, Sikkim and Dooars of the North Bengal – as a composite tourist destination. Its duration is 9-10 days and it comprises a plethora of events at various venues in the regions. Siliguri is a gateway to all the festival destination of the EHTF. Almost all the hotels, tourist lodges and resorts offer accommodation, food and beverage to tourist on this occasion at a special discount.
Map of West Bengal :