These upcoming winter festivals in India will ensure you conclude this rather tough year on a happier note. More details below. By Tanvi Jain

1. Festa De Diu, Daman and Diu 


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This festival hosted annually in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu is known to be the longest beach festival in Asia, and goes on for three months, starting Decembeto February 15. The festive venue comprises of beachesforts and caves, with differently themed weeks, such as Diu Liberation, Christmas FestNew Year’s Bonanza, Week of Laughter, Patriotism Week, Spring Fest Week, etc. From music concerts hosted by renowned singers and musicians to stand-up comedy gigs, and from adventure sports to heritage walks — this festival has much to offer. When here, you can also pay a visit to some of the nearby attractions such as Diu Fort, Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple and Ghoghla Beach. 

When: December 1 to February 15 

2. Tamladu, Arunachal Pradesh 


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Celebrated on February 15 in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh by Digaru Mishmis tribe, this is one of the most popular and ancient festivals of the state, where you get a chance to dig deep into the supernatural, religious and cultural beliefs of the locals. The members of the tribe pray for the welfare of people, animals and crops, and believe that only nature can protect them from calamities. A chance to enjoy the traditional Tanggong dance, eat authentic food, buy Mishmi clothesand learn about the tribal culture with the help of different tribes that gather here from the surrounding hill stations — are few of the things that you’ll get to experience if you plan to go for this festival. 

When: February 15 

3. Tarpa Festival, Dadra and Nagar Haveli 

Named after the Tarpa dance, this festival is celebrated in the month December by the Kokna, Koli and Warli tribes, of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and also in Silvassa. Apart from the traditional dance, the event also witnesses swimming competitions, rangoli making and tattoo competitions, boat racing, etc. Moreover, it is also celebrated by the Malhar and Bhil tribes of Maharashtra in order to honour the yearly harvest. This festival brings forth the nuances of tribal culture and traditions beautifully. The dance is performed to the tune of an instrument called Tarpa, where participants dance under a moonlit sky and showcase their unity by holding hands. 

When: December   

4. Ellora Festival, Maharashtra 


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Also known as the Ellora Ajanta festival, this carnival is organised in the surrounding areas of the UNESCO Heritage Site — Ajanta Ellora caves — in the month of January. During this event, artists from different walks of life perform classical and folk dances, play instruments and also sing. Moreover, a visit to this festival allows tourists to not just experience Indian art and music but also its history, with artefacts dating back to different time periods. Since 2002, this festival is being organised every year in the 17th-century, Soneri Mahal. 

When: January 

5. Galdan Namchot, Ladakh 


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Apart from Ladakh, this festival is also celebrated in Mongolia and Tibet, to commemorate the birth and death of Tibetan Buddhism scholar Je Tsongkhapa, who founded the 14th-century Gelukpa SchoolThe festival also marks the beginning of New Year in Ladakh, and is held in the month of December, where monasteries and residential buildings are decked up with strings of lights and butter lamps to mark the victory of good over evil. Moreover, people also enjoy traditional food, such as, momosthukpa and butter tea, while watching dance-dramas performed by monks donning colourful attires.  

When: December 

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