Become a wedding guest and see the drummers show: Day of India festival's events

Become a wedding guest and see the drummers show: Day of India festival's events
9 to 11 August, Sokolniki Park is to host a festival dedicated to one of the most important holidays of India — Independence Day, with festival venues opened from 10:00 am till 08:00 pm.

At the Day of India festival to be held in Sokolniki guests are welcome to learn about culture, history and national costumes of this South Asian country, buy mahogany and ivory souvenirs and taste the best varieties of highland tea.

Almost all Park grounds will be occupied by grand celebration venues.  Visit concerts, discos, workshops, yoga sessions and health-improving massage classes at Festivalalnaya and Fontannaya squares, Big Circle alley, Sunny Meadow and in the Astronomic Garden. Performances of artists from India will create a special atmosphere. They will arrange a musical marathon.

Become a guest of Indian wedding and watch the show of street drummers

From 9 till 11 August, Festivalnaya Square will daily host fashion shows of Indian clothing. Models will demonstrate traditional and modern types of sari and hijab. Festival guests will get acquainted with different types of national costumes, and find out about special requirements to clothing in different parts of India.

During fashion shows, there will be dance flashmobs to the legendary hit from 'Disco Dancer' film. Everyone will be able to learn simple movements of the dance and perform it. Take part in the flashmob on Friday (01:00 pm and 04:30 pm), Saturday (01:00 pm and 05:00 pm) and Sunday (12:30 pm and 06:00 pm).

For three days in a row, this square will be hosting a show of street drummers, a team of actors on stilts playing traditional Indian drums, mridangams. Buffalo leather membrane of these drums is covered with thick clay and rice flour paste to provide the instruments an unusual sounding.

At the Dance Patio stage you may attend an Indian traditional wedding as a guest. The ceremony will last for three days in compliance with all traditions. During this time, 12 couples are to marry, with four weddings celebrated daily. All the ceremonies will be conducted by pujari priests from India. To become a guest at an Indian wedding, you need to register on the festival's website. 

In the evenings, this venue will host dance parties to the Bollywood films' themes and modern Indian pop-music. Join the dance from 08:00 till 10:00 pm.

Music and dance lovers are welcome at Fontannaya Square. Here you will enjoy bright performance: about 450 performing artists from India will hold a three-day dance and music marathon. Citizens will see classical folk dances, and modern dances usually performed in Bollywood films. Musicians will play national instruments — harmonics (a small keyboard instrument), mridangams and karatalas (percussion instruments), and special violins, guitars and flutes.

From 9 to 11 August, Astronomic Garden will host culinary master classes on cooking Indian food. Park guests will also taste the best Indian teas. Those interested in culture of this country, may attend lectures about Indian philosophy, religion and history. You will know how the Hindus perceive beauty and why they treat surrounding nature with special respect. In addition, daily free yoga sessions in the hammocks will be held in the Astronomic Garden.  In the evenings, enjoy discos to Indian music.

Do not miss the gods chariot processions and get acquainted with mehendi art.

Sunny Meadow invites adults and children to attend yoga sessions  and Indian massage master classes. It is different from traditional European massage,  as its purpose is to relieve tension by pressing various points on the human body.

Also, Sunny Meadow venue invites guests to get acquainted with the traditional henna tattoos. This technique is called mehendi. This tattoo is absolutely safe, it is not a real tattoo as we know it, as after a while it washes off. Each mehendi pattern carries a certain meaning. It is believed that such drawings bring good luck.

Those who want to learn how to dance national Indian dances should visit the Central, Symphonic and Rotunda park stages. Choreographers will show the most recognisable movements of Indian dances and explain their meaning. These master classes will be interesting for both children and adults. You can join them at any time while the festival grounds are open, that is, 10:00 am till 10:00 pm.

It is important not to miss one of the brightest performances of the festival, which will be held in honour of the Ratha-yātrā (chariot festival) on 10 August. From 02:00 pm till 05:00 pm, a gods chariot procession is to take place. It is a cart with a round red dome filled with flowers and fruits. People believed that it is the very transport gods travel on earth and give people various gifts. Chariot procession along Luchevoy Prosek and Big Circle alley will be accompanied by dancers in folk costumes and musicians. Fruits and flowers will be given to everyone they meet on their way.

Those who want to buy a souvenir as the festival's keepsake, may choose something to their liking at the Indian fair, which will be held on the grounds of Fontannaya and Festivalnaya squares and Big Circle alley. There guest will find jewellery, mahogany items, fabrics, highland tea, spices and rice.

It will be the 6th Day of India annual festival held in Sokolniki Park. It is timed to the Independence Day of India celebrated on 15 August. On this day, in 1947, a decree proclaiming the independence of India from the British Empire came into force.  It opened a new page in the history of the state.

Last year, the festival was held from 10 to 12 August. Learn more about the festival programme and the schedule of all events at the festival's website.