Experience the vibrancy of the Thar Desert during your Rajasthan travel. Held once a year during winters, the Rajasthan desert comes alive with the brilliant colors, music and laughter of the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. The fair has snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels, of course, play a stellar role in this festival, where the rich and colorful folk culture of Rajasthan is on show.
The Jaisalmer Fort provides an ethereal backdrop to the annual Desert Festival celebrating the traditional performing arts and creative crafts of Rajasthan. The otherwise barren landscape is splashed with vibrant colors marking the opening of the Desert Festival. Over the years, the desert dwellers in their solitude have woven a fascinating tapestry with threads of music and rhythm and the Desert Festival is a celebration of their heritage. It is a chance of a lifetime to see the folk art forms against the landscape that has nurtured them for hundreds of years during your Rajasthan tour.
Through the day, visitors can come face to face with the desert craftsmen. Exquisitely embroidered skirts, hand-woven shawls, rugs, carvings on wood and stone, camel decorations, embroidered leather bags, ethnic silver jewelry and terracotta are brought in from all over the desert. These skillfully achieved crafts are objects d'art for the handicraft buff and are great buys for tourists on Rajasthan vacation.
Evenings are meant for the main shows of music and dance. Nearly all the variations of performing arts of these desert people are displayed. Continuing till late into the night, the number of spectators swells up each night and the grand finale, on the full moon night, takes place by silvery sand dunes.
Camels are not just beasts of burden but an integral part of the desert life and the camel events during the Desert Festival confirm this fact. Special efforts go into dressing the animal for entering the spectacular competition of the best-dressed camel. To add some more fun and color, the camel show has two unique events - the camel polo and the camel dance.
Other interesting competitions on the fringes are the moustache and turban tying competitions, which not only demonstrate a glorious tradition but also inspire its preservation. Both the turban and the moustache have been centuries old symbols of honor in Rajasthan.
Jaisalmer is the only place where this desert festival is celebrated with great zest and zeal. Rajasthan being a popular tourist destination, the festival adds to its color.