Uttar Pradesh is known as the colorful state in India with its forty grand festivals and over two thousand fairs. The times of these fairs and festivals are always fun for the people; they celebrate with excitement and enthusiasm. Also, these ceremonies give artists, from magicians to gymnasts, the chance to exhibit their talents professionally. Uttar Pradesh celebrates festivals such as Raksha Bandhan, Ram Navami, Buddha Purnima, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, and many others.

Uttar Pradesh holds major or national festivals that draw tourists’ attention, and its citizens always look forward to them. However, aside from these major festivals, people visit the state for several unique celebrations and fairs. This article contains information on a few popular fairs and festivals celebrated in Uttar Pradesh to give you an idea of what to expect when in Uttar Pradesh.

Jhansi Festival

The Jhansi Festival is typically held in Jhansi between February and March and for about one week. The main essence of the Jhansi Festival is to showcase the town’s culture, arts, and crafts; it is a great place for poetry lovers. The Jhansi Festival commemorates the memories of poetry legends and consists of several cultural programs. Cultural programs organized at the festival include ghazals, mushairas, folk songs, and dances.

Apart from these, the festival time is also a time for promoting the Ayurvedic healing system for general wellbeing. For this reason, the festival is also referred to as the “Ayurveda Jhansi Mahotsav.” Other activities held during the festival include traditional folk performers and a handicraft fair by local citizens and artists. Additionally, the Jhansi Festival is intended to advertise Uttar Pradesh as one of the most accessible health tourism destinations.

Jhoola Fair

The Jhoola Fair or Festival is also called Hindola Utsav and known as the Sing festival; it is celebrated in Sri Krishna temples. The Jhoola Fair is one of the most beautifully-celebrated fairs in the temples, which holds for a month. In temples dedicated to Jagannath and Lord Krishna, the ceremony is celebrated on Hariyali Teej day, the third day in Shukla Paksha, Shravan month. On the festival day, the murti of Banke Bihari is set in the courtyard of the Vrindavan Banke Bihari Temple on a swing.

The Banke is decorated with a green dress because the festival celebrates the monsoon’s arrival. Devotees from all over come to the temple to witness Krishna swaying and serving special dishes as Prasad. The eastern parts of India refer to the festival as Jhulan Yatra, but it is mostly observed from Shravan Ekadasi to Purnima.

Lucknow Mahotsav Festival

The Lucknow Mahotsav Festival is organized annually in Lucknow to showcase Uttar Pradesh’s art and culture and promote tourism. One of its objectives is to encourage artisans from all over the country to present their masterpieces at the festival. These can include traditional dramas, colorful processions, Sarangi, Lucknow Gharana Kathak dances, thumri, ghazals, sitar recitals, and quails. These displays of talent generally produce a cheerful atmosphere throughout the festival, which holds for ten days.

Several customary village games and events like ekka races, cockfighting, and kite flying are done to bring back the ambiance of the old Nawabi days. The Lucknow Mahotsav Festival is an avenue for thousands to eat connoisseurs of good food. Visitors get their taste buds pampered with the endless arrays of savory dishes, including Kabab-parathas, Kesaria Doodh, and several others. The foods served are typically non-vegetarian dishes, but they are said to be mouth-watering and exotic.

Magh Mela

The Magh Mela or Magha Mela is held with fairs annually during the Magha month, January, and February. The festival is usually held near the river banks and sacred tanks close to the Hindu temples. The Magha melas coincide with the Kumbh Mela, considered Jupiter’s, sun’s, and moon’s astrologically positioning. The festival features bathing rituals as a form of penance observed in Bali.

The Magh Mela is based on the belief that pilgrimage is a means for penance or atonement, known as “prayascitta,” for past wrongdoings. They believe that the rituals cleanse them of sins, and bathing in holy rivers provides liberation from samsara (the cycle of rebirths). The Magh Mela includes ritual bathing, prayers to ancestors, cultural fairs and programs, devotional music and dancing, charity, and religious discourses.

Taj Mahotsav

The Taj Mahotsav Festival is a ten-day event held annually in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is said to invoke the memories of the Mughal era and the prevalent 18th and 19th-century Nawabi styles. The festival provides opportunities for four hundred artisans from different parts of the country to showcase their artworks. These may include paper mache work from South India and Kashmir, wood and stone carvings from Tamil Nadu, and pottery from Khurja.

The Taj Mahotsav festival begins with a road procession with decorated camels and elephants like the victory processions of Mughal warlords and emperors. Skilled craftsmen and artisans, drum beaters, folk dancers, and trumpet players join the procession. The festival is also an opportunity to campaign for AIDS awareness through folk dances.


The Ramlila Celebration holds for ten days, is fun-filled, and features theatre performances of Lord Rama’s life. The drama is acted by local talent where actors dress to suit their roles; Hanuman and the monkey brigade supply kids with all the glee. They narrate the story in a typical style with devotional songs sung to Bollywood tunes. The Ramlila festival atmosphere is festive and free, with visitors interacting and commenting as the drama proceeds.

For kids, activities like rides, impromptu talent shows, photo studios, magicians, and simple games of chance are laid out. Different villages compete, vying to stage a more glamorous drama production.


India has some fascinating cultures and traditions showcased in these festivals and fairs. The festivals are not only about showcasing the culture and art of Uttar Pradesh but to help its citizens. Artisans and craftsmen from different parts of India, not just Uttar Pradesh, have the opportunity to show their skills to the spectators’ delight. The ceremonies are always fun, presenting a way for devotees to pledge their allegiance and citizens to remember their culture.