The celebration of a festival provides the occasion for people from all around to gather as much for social as religious and commercial reasons and they use any transport at their command to make the journey.

Rajasthan loves to celebrate, its people expressing themselves in color and sound not seen or heard elsewhere in the country. Vibrant colours, music and festivities make this golden land come alive. This love for colour and joyous celebrations is apparent in the elaborate rituals and the gay abandon with which the Rajasthani surrenders himself to the numerous fairs and festivals celebrated in the state. Take any month of the year from the first to the last and you are sure to find some festival or celebration happening somewhere. These melas help the otherwise hard-working villagers to relax in the company of their brethren, and provide villagers from far-flung villages an opportunity to gather for social or commercial purposes.

The festivals celebrated here, as in the rest of the country, are marked by religious, mythological, seasonal or historical significance. Certain days or periods of time have been set aside to commemorate and ritually celebrate these events. Other than these traditional fairs, some non-traditional fairs are now being organised by the Department of Tourism.

At religious fairs, worship, prayer and processions play an important part. The faithful flock to centres of pilgrimage where they pay homage to local saints and folk heroes. Temples built in their memory, and all spots associated with their life and times, are revered. Equally important are the fairs associated with the changing seasons. As agricultural operations follow the cycle of seasons, it is during the intervals that the celebrations usually occur. There are fairs to welcome the monsoon, fairs to welcome spring, and fairs to pray for a good season. Agricultural fains provide the farmers a chance to get together with their clansmen and celebrate with song and dance. They even have songs for every aspect of farming planting, transplanting, harvesting, threshing. They also offer prayers to the rain gods for a plentiful harvest, or in thanksgiving for a good harvest. Socio-cultural fairs, on the other hand, provide meaning and cohesiveness to an individual's standing in society and help create harmony among the members of not only the entire community but also the entire village. Traditions are maintained and a feeling of solidarity is kept alive through these festivals. This is especially true of fairs associated with individual villages, temples, or with specific communities and cults that provide educational, social as well as a religious character.

Whatever the occasion, a joyous spirit pervades there are rituals, colour, music, feasting, pageantry, trade, fun and frolic. The love of colourful clothes and dressing up in the most amazing traditional jewellery is nowhere more apparent than at these times. The bustling bazaars provide the villagers an opportunity to participate in the trading of cattle and grain, and the womenfolk take great delight in buying new clothes as well as household goods. There is also brisk trading in traditional arts and handicrafts. In fact, most of Rajasthan's traditional crafts are kept alive at these fairs. The sales at these markets make it possible for the village craftsmen to survive.

Another important aspect of these melas are the traditional entertainers the minstrels, jugglers, puppeteers and performers who provide hours of pleasant diversion as they come together at the fairs. Religious mendicants sing devotional songs. Elaborate enactments of episodes connected with the occasion are staged which help the people to understand the mythological and philosophical aspects of their religion.