festivals and events in dec 23© Instagram

12 Unique Festivals And Events To Attend In India This December

As the winter chill settles in and the holiday season beckons, India transforms into a kaleidoscope of vibrant festivals and events that promise to not only satiate the palate but also nourish the soul and mind. From literature to food extravaganzas, cultural and LGBTQIA+ inclusivity celebrations, as well as music festivals, December in India is a delightful medley of experiences. Let’s explore the top 12 festivals and events to attend this December 2023.

1. Rainbow Literature Fest - Queer And Inclusive

When: December 9 and 10 

Where: Gulmohar Park Club, New Delhi

Details: South Asia and Southeast Asia’s largest queer and inclusive literary festival, the Rainbow Lit Fest, brings together over 60 speakers, entertainers and performers. Dive into two days of literary discussions, music, drag, dance, film screenings and drama. The festival aims to create a space for informed narratives about the LGBTQIA+ community, featuring renowned personalities such as Seema Anand, Kalki Koechlin and John Oinam.

Get Tickets.

2. Jashn-e-Rekhta

When: December 8-10

Where: Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi

Details: Jashn-e-Rekhta is a three-day celebration of the multifaceted beauty of Urdu. The festival features Ghazals, poetry symposiums, Qawwali, Sufi melodies and more. It provides a dedicated platform for nurturing and showcasing the rich tapestry of Urdu language, literature and culture. Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage through an array of exquisite experiences, including live performances and discussions.

Get Tickets.

3. Zomaland by Zomato Live

When: December 16 - 17

Where: JLN Stadium Gate No. 2, Delhi

Details: Zomaland by Zomato Live is India’s largest food and entertainment carnival. Beyond culinary delights, the carnival offers an assortment of fun games and a fantastic artist lineup to ensure your weekend is filled with food, fun and frolic. Explore a diverse range of cuisines, engage in entertaining activities and enjoy live performances in a vibrant atmosphere.

Get Tickets.

4. Delhi Comic Con

When: December 8 - 10

Where: NSIC Exhibitions Ground, Okhla

Details: Comic Con India, the grandest pop-culture celebration, draws in over 200K fans annually. This extravaganza unites various fandoms, encompassing comics, toys, merchandise, anime, cosplay, TV shows, movies, gaming and beyond. Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of pop culture with interactive sessions, merchandise stalls and the chance to meet like-minded enthusiasts.

Get Tickets.

5. Great Indian Sneaker Festival

When: December 22 - 24

Where: Ambience Island, Gurgaon

Details: The Great Indian Sneaker Festival is a celebration of all things trendy, edgy and fashionable. With an exclusive collection of over 5,000 limited edition shoes, the event showcases the vibrant street culture that has captivated the nation. Dive into a non-stop celebration of fashion, music and the urban lifestyle, featuring workshops, immersive experiences and live performances by artists including Kr$na, Ritviz and When Chai Met Toast, among others.

Get Tickets.

6. Gin Explorers Club - Retroverse Edition

When: December 9 and 10

Where: Jayamahal Palace, Bengaluru

Details: The World’s Biggest Gin Festival, Gin Explorers Club, returns with its Retroverse Edition. This extravaganza is a distinctive space honouring the fusion of Gin, culture and creativity. Experience a variety of juniper delights with a splash of retro, featuring over 15 Gins, exclusively crafted tasting sessions, cocktail workshops and a vibrant disco feel with eclectic live music acts.

Get Tickets.

7. Himachal Hills Festival

When: December 30 – 31

Where: Nature Park, Kasol, Himachal Pradesh

Details: This camping and music festival is the perfect New Year’s celebration amidst the hills of Himachal. Set against the backdrop of nature, the festival offers a fusion of music, the local cuisine and nature. Enjoy live band performances, DJ nights, bonfires and explore food stalls, while shoppingfor local delicacies and souvenirs.

8. Sunburn Goa

When: December 28 - 31

Where: Goa

Details: Sunburn Goa is the continent’s largest EDM festival, attracting dance enthusiasts from around 40 countries. With multiple stages, after-fiesta parties, flea markets and thrilling helicopter rides, the festival promises a unique and electrifying experience. Immerse yourself in the beats of electronic dance music and explore the vibrant culture of Goa.

Get Tickets.

9. The Cochin Carnival

cochin carnival©The Cochin Carnival

When: December 25, 2023 - January 1, 2024

Where: Cochin, Kerala

Details: Although not as famous as Goa’s carnival, Cochin Carnival offers a festival of fun during the Christmas holidays. The carnival features cultural performances, dances, music performances and the iconic Panchavadyam—a music ensemble featuring a blend of five instruments. Engage in beach activities, witness an elephant parade and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Know more about this festival.

10. Magnetic Fields Festival

When: December 15 - 17

Where: Alsisar Mahal (venue changes every year)

Details: This talent festival of Rajasthan extends beyond music, offering kite flying competitions, morning yoga workshops, treasure hunts, secret parties and various guided sessions for music, cooking and other activities. Camp under the stars, engage in adventure sports and enjoy the unique ambiance of the desert.

Get Tickets.

11. Hornbill Festival

When: December 1 - 10

Where: Kohima, Nagaland

Details: The Hornbill Festival is a mesmerising celebration of Northeastern culture, featuring traditional war dances, a national rock concert, local cuisine, night markets and unique headhunting rituals. Participate in car and bike-based adventure sports, traditional games and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Nagaland.

Get Tickets.

12. Hot Air Balloon Festival

hot air balloon fest©Instagram

Where: Hampi, Bidar, and Mysore of Karnataka

When: Entire month of December

Details: Experience the thrill of adventure beyond the realms of culture and religion at the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Karnataka. Taking place throughout December, this festival transforms the sky into a canvas of vibrant hues with gracefully floating hot air balloons. Embark on an exhilarating journey as you soar above the landscape, relishing the unique perspective it offers. From participating in heart-pounding adventure sports and watching the spectacle of floating balloons, to perusing stalls offering delightful keepsakes and classic toys, this festival is a celebration of the spirit of adventure.