Apart from the traditional religious observances and
national holidays, There are several festivals, which are exclusive to the
residents of Chandigarh.
The Festival of Gardens is a three-day extravaganza, which is organised in the last week of February is also on the national calendar of festivals. Earlier, it was known as Rose Festival that intended to encourage people to walk through the Rose Garden and enjoy the beauty of roses. The festival includes performances of music and dance, both classical and folk, flower shows, events for children, exhibitions by local artists, photographers and craftsman and a wide range of amusements. Since 1997, it is known as the Festival of Gardens. The various competitions are organised such as children competition, dog show, and flower decoration competitions. The various companies put up their stalls to show various products.
April Fools' Day (April 1) a unique gathering of various poets from all over the country at Chandigarh, on this day. Even those who do not ordinarily enjoy poetry look forward to the 'Maha Moorkh Sammelan', or 'Conclave of Colossal Fools'. Chandigarh is the only city in India that hosts such a gathering.
Baisakhi is the first day of the New Year in the traditional Vikrami Calendar. It celebrates the wheat harvest, and is main festivals for the Sikh as this is the day of foundation of Khalsa. As the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, this day sees festivities organised by both the state governments as well as the Administration of the UT, and by all the residents.
The Mango Festival is held in June. Mango-growers from all over India are invited to enter their prize fruits in the various competitions. Visitors to the fair can see and taste all the traditional varieties of the fruit as well as the latest hybrids from the agricultural universities. It is also an occasion for agro-industries, and food industries processing mangoes into jams, pickles and canned fruit to display their products.
Teej Held in the first week of August, this traditional festival is celebrated by women only. The Rock Garden with its swings and pavilions is the venue for the festivities and the day is basically a grand picnic with songs and dances, purchase of new bangles and painting the hands with 'mehndi'.
Indo-Pak Mushaira in December brings together poets from India and Pakistan. The significance of this event is felt especially by the older generation whose memories go back to the years before the partition of India. For the younger generation, it brings home the common features of language and culture that unite the people of two nations.
The Chrysanthemums Show is held in the month of December at Terraces Flower Garden in the Sector 33 of the city. One can see a multi-coloured wall-to-wall carpet of chrysanthemums. Hundreds of varieties of the flower are on display and city gardeners vie for coveted honours in the competition.
THE YOUTHFUL CARNIVALS
The Plaza Carnival is held on an open-air stage set up in Sector 17's Central Piazza every Saturday evening. The weekly programme draws a large crowd and provides an opportunity for talented local artists to present their art.
The Chandigarh Carnival
This carnival is celebrated in the second week of November every year for three days. The carnival opens with a colourful procession, wherein everyone is encouraged to join. The carnival is a time for students and children to show their talent and elders too participate in a number of competitions held at same venue.