A Unique tale
India has a very diverse culture and each region has its own style of celebration. With the second-largest population in the world and the biggest democracy, India offers an endless variety of cultures and beliefs. It’s a country, where you will step into a new kind of cultural community every few hundred kilometers and this also brings with itself a variety of customs and celebrations.
We, Indians don’t just accommodate all but celebrate life at its fullest. It can literally be called the ‘land of festivals’ where rich cultures, traditions, and beliefs co-exist at their vibrant best. People start preparing months in advance for some of these festivals that are often celebrated for days at a time. Festivals like Diwali across the country, Durga Puja in West Bengal, Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and Onam are celebrated for ten days.
On the other hand, festivals like Rakhi and Bhaiya Dhuj, have no religious significance are celebrated to honour the bond between siblings. Similarly, festivals like Basant Panchami and Lori honour the hard-working farmers of India and are celebrated to rejoice a bountiful harvest. Guru Parav, Janmasthami, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Bihu, Pongal and many more. With more than 1.30 billion people living in this country and being divided among several states and regions with unique cultural identities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the diversity. For someone looking for an opportunity to understand a particular culture or region, these festivals become the key.
Now let us talk about a lesser-known festival of our country. If you are a traveller with the motive to enjoy Indian traditions at its best, the first places to look would be the regional traditions and how they are celebrated. Let us know about one such undekhi or unsuni regional festivals of India.
Rural Olympics, Kila Raipur
This is probably the most unknown and unique festivals of India. However, the spirit and enthusiasm behind it certainly qualify it as a truly Unique Festivals of India. The festival is an honest representation of the spirit Rural India and the State of Punjab. The festival was envisioned by local philanthropist Mr Inder Grewal. He envisioned an annual event where people from the local and neighbouring farming communities would gather each year and test their physical endurance. This idea laid the foundation for the “Rural Olympics” a truly Unique Festivals of India. The first edition of the Rural Olympics was held in 1933 and has been going strong for nearly 60 years. Locals and Sports Enthusiast around the world eagerly await this festival, and more than 4000 sportsmen participate in it each year.
The Solitary aim of the games is “Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body”, and the core belief of the games is centred around the idea of “Excellence”. The games provide an excellent platform for young girls and boys, women and men and veterans to show off the physical acumen and sports ability. It’s a great opportunity for many, who otherwise would not have had the chance to show off their skills and aptitude.
Where: Kila Raipur Village, Near Ludhiana (Punjab)
When: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, February
What is it About: The Rural Olympics or more formally The Kila Raipur Sports Festival is a 3-day extravaganza celebrated in Punjab.
Locals and Sports Enthusiast around the world eagerly await this festival. The festival has been around for nearly 60 years, and more than 4000 sportsmen participate in it each year.
The WOW Factor: In addition to traditional sporting events, the festival includes many unusual events, including the likes off, tractor, camel & dog racing. Other events at the festival include horse dancing and extreme display of strength in events such as pulling of bikes and cards with one’s teeth, riding cycles that have been set ablaze among other stunts and events.