Elephant Festival Jaipur
Most Amazing Festivals in the World
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
The annual Elephant Festival, held at the Jaipur polo grounds in the city of Jaipur, state of Rajasthan, India, has been continuous since ancient times and is therefore one of the oldest world festivals. It is entirely a tribute to the intelligent, strong and wise elephants that have been essential to Indian culture for centuries. For those who fear that elephants are not kindly treated, rest assured this celebrates them, not abusing them, and they are kept well by trained “mahouts”. The pachyderms seem to understand this is all about them and they get into the swing.
Held on the eve of the Holi Festival, the Elephant Festival is a delight for young and old, with street food and vendors, music and dancing. It starts with a parade of female elephants, decorated with colourful rugs, anklets and other jewellery, and even with painted designs. These natural paints (the orange ones are, for example, made from turmeric), in their dry form, are tossed about the human celebrants, so everybody turns pink or orange!
This festival demonstrates the high regard in which elephants are held in this area of India. They are royalty to the locals. A few camels and horses also participate in the events. After the parade, there are elephant races, dances, polo matches and tug-of-war competitions. It’s a fun day for all.