Once a year in winter and in the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organized by the Department of Tourism around January-February.
The very rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture is on show here for three days. Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their bright costumes dance and sing lingering ballads of valour, romance and tragedy. Traditional musicians attempt to outdo each other in their musical superiority.
The high points of the festival are – puppeteers, acrobats, camel tattoo show, camel races, camel polo, traditional procession, camel mounted band , folk dances, etc. Proud mustached villagers, dressed in their ethnic best come astride their picturesquely caparisoned camels to join in the camel dances and competitions of camel acrobatics. Tug of war and Panihari Matka race are the events where visitors to the fair can participate and enjoy the thrill and taste of traditions.
The turban tying competitions are big draws and laughter. The Mr. Desert competitions, which are focused around the length and style of moustaches and rustic physique wrapped in traditional costumes, many visitors.