Puducherry has a lively spirit that is often reflected in its festivities. If you are planning a visit here, try and time it so you can attend one of these festivals.

International Yoga Festival

While all these festivals have a charm of their own, there is none more representative of the spirit of Puducherry than the International Yoga Festival. Every year between January 4 and January 7, the government of Puducherry, since 1992, has been organising this annual event that witnesses yoga experts arriving from all over the world.

International Yoga Festival

Fire Walking Festival

An exciting albeit dangerous fiesta is the Fire Walking Festival. Devotees, wearing saffron-coloured clothes, observe severe austerities and fast for a period of 40 days during the months of October or November. On the main night, after a purification bath, they walk barefoot across a 4-m-long pit of burning coal.

Fire Walking Festival

Car Festival

During the months of May and June, the annual Car Festival is organised at Villianur Temple when a large number of devotees pull a 15-m-long chariot through the streets. The belief is that devotees who pull the cart have their wishes fulfilled. Lord Shiva, in the form of a shivling, is the presiding deity at the temple.

Car Festival

French Food Festival

For the youth, Puducherry hosts quite a few festivals that draw scores of visitors every year. Of these, the French Food Festival is the most popular. The Department of Tourism, Puducherry organises it in the month of August. It offers visitors, who congregate here from all over the country, an opportunity to experience a wide variety of French delicacies.

French Food Festival

Masi Magam

Celebrated by Tamil-speaking people in the Tamil month of Masi during Makam Nakshatra or the month of Magha, Masi Magam is the day when temple idols are carried to a pond, a river or the sea for a ceremonial bath. It is also observed in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

Masi Magam

Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival

During festival season, the union territory of Puducherry becomes a haven for travellers. There are several activities and festivals that take place all year round, so its cultural calendar is usually quite full. The city’s spiritual bent ensures that a large number of these take place in the temples of Puducherry. For instance, the annual Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival, taking place on the occasion of Shivratri, witnesses performers from around the country. Meanwhile, Carnatic music is promoted through Bhairavi, which witnesses music enthusiasts joining hands to present instrumental and vocal performances, dance and music. Most of these dance and music festivals have a strong Tamil influence. Not to forget are the Kandoori Festival, Bhagavathi Temple Festival, Vishnuteertham, Swamikalyanam, Mandalam Vilakku and many more.

Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival