A lively and colorful event, The Camel Festival, is organized by Department of Tourism, Art and Culture, Rajasthan in Bikaner during January each year. Camels, the stalwart of the desert give an unmatched performance in the festival, bringing the desert town to life with its spell binding display of graceful parades, camel races, camel dances and many other camel acrobatics.
Camel Festival Date for this year: 13-14 Jan 2006
Camel Festival Date for next year: 02-03 Jan 2007
The fair is celebrated twice a year in the little desert citadel of Deshnok, in honour of Goddess Karni Mata, the tutelary deity of the Bikaner royal house. The devotees gather at Deshnok during the Navratra, in March/April and September/October and the fair is held on the ninth day of Navratra, amidst the chanting of hymns and prayers, devotees offer their prayers and the celebrations have a distinct religious flavor.
The sacred lake of Kolayat 55 Km from Bikaner is the venue of this fair. Its held during the full moon of kartik (Nov). The devotees come to take a holy dip in the lake. At this time, all the fifty ghats bordering the lake are crowded. In addition to the worship of saint Kapil Muni, the propounder of Sankhya, one of the six major philosophical schools, thousands of people also visit the cattle fair held here at this time
The festival of maidens and married women. Women attired in their best costumes and jewelers, pray to Gauri, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. This eighteen day long festival begins the day after holi. Married women pray for the well being and long life of their husband and the young ladies seek the blessings for a life partner of their choice. Processions of Gauri , are taken out with pomp and gaiety from Junagarh and the old city. Women sing melodious folk songs, accompanied by musicians and bands.
Kite Flying is a cultural tradition of this region bearing special significance because of its direct connection with the foundation of this city. It serves to commemorate this historical fact and shows gaiety and involvement of people. Despite sand-storms and slightly hot climate people celebrate the festival with traditional flavour. Sky remains full of KITES of varying colours, shapes and sizes. People of all ages participate with zeal and vigour in this fest. It generally falls in April/May ,date relying on Hindu calendar.