Well, that is a challenge, but here goes… One legend contends that a priest named Valentine, in 3rd century in Rome, was executed by Emperor Claudius II, for performing marriages in secret. The emperor believed that young men made better soldiers if unmarried. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius, however, declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. Much later the day came to be associated with romance.
This day is usually a time for gifts, flowers and sweets. How about a different celebration that includes flowers and spices? This is where the camel comes in. The Nagaur Fair happens to fall on St. Valentine’s Day this year, actually between February 13 and 16, and takes place in the rural town of Nagaur, where some 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses are traded.
The camels are festooned with decorations including flowers. Their owners dress up in traditional colorful turbans and sport long moustaches. Here, too, is the Mirchi bazaar, the largest red-chilly market in India, where you are bound to find a myriad of sweet treats. For gifts, there are a variety of wooden items, iron-crafts and leather accessories.
This is India’s second largest cattle fair, although not as well-known as the famous Pushkar Fair. These lively festivals include entertainment in the form of folk dances, jugglers, puppeteers, and storytellers as well as tug of war competitions and, of course, camel races.
This festival usually takes place in January or February, so if you find yourself in India during this time, consider adding it to your India adventure such as in the Deserts of North India.
Happy Valentine’s Day!