Durga pooja, Panguni Utharam, and Mari Amman festivals are common here. Bengali sweets are the most preferred. The above festivals are during the month of October. Lord Muruga’s devotees fast for 10 days. They walk on fire, carry offerings called ‘kavadi’ in order to display their affection. On the last day food is distributed lavishly. Jirgattan and Hastinabad have Marriamman temples. January or August are for this festival when people walk on fire and distribute food.
Some of the important Festivals in Andaman are
Island Tourism Festival
This fortnight long festival organized by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration every year during the months of December – January, is the main festival of the islands. The festival comprises an exhibition, cultural programmes, competitions, etc. Government agencies and private entrepreneurs from the islands and mainland India also attend the exhibition organized during the festival. The exhibition highlights the developmental aspects of these islands. Cultural troupes and artistes of national and international fame are invited to perform during the festival apart from performances by the talents of the islands including tribals. The festival projects the image of the islands as an eco friendly tourist destination.
Subhash Mela is organized in Havelock Island every year on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in the month of January. It’s a week long festival filled with cultural programmes.
Vivekananda Mela is organized at Neil Island to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda also in the month of January.
Held at Diglipur, this festival highlights the developments that have taken place in the rural areas and displays the typical rural life of these islands. It is held in January/February. Nicobarese dance is performed by Nicobarese who live in the Island of Car Nicobar. Among the many fascinating tribal groups that inhabit the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, Nicobarese is the only tribe who has lived in isolation and has unique traditional tribal ways. They are not even remotely influenced by modern civilization and education. Colorful tribal festivities are still observed in Nicobar Islands. The Nicobarese dance is performed during the “Ossuary Feast or the Pig Festival”, which is dedicated to the departed head of the family. The occasion is observed with nightlong dancing in full moon light, under waving coconut palms. The dancers, dressed in coconut fronds, step gracefully in time, to traditional songs. The feast is followed by a pig fight in the morning.