This is a rundown of classical Indian Festivals from the time of the Vedas which is the oldest script in the Indian subcontinent carbon dated to 1500 BC. The classical sound has been heavily influenced by the more rustic Indian folk music.
Tyagaraja Aradhana (Carnatic)
Inception 1847 – present day
Location Tamil Nadu
Duration January & February
This is the act of praising God in musical form and the term Aradhana is Sanskrit. The venue of this festival is in the Tamil Nadu and other locations where Tygaraja obtained the sainthood of Samadhi. The singers offer music to the saint’s Pancharatna Kritis.
The festival is celebrated annually on the death day of the saints and this occurs in the time of the Pushya during the lunar month according to Hindu calendar. This festival is overseen by the Mahotsava Sabha and is held in all local municipalities of the aforementioned locations. This festival is relatively one of the oldest as Tygaraja passed away in 1847. This festival is so big that it is now celebrated in a lot of countries across the globe including the United States of America.
Chembai Sangeetholsavam (Carnatic)
Inception 1910 – present day
Location Guruvayur & Kerala regions
Duration 12 – 15 days
This is a yearly festival of Carnatic music held in the Kerala and Guruvayur regions and is a celebration of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, one of the pillars of Carnation and a strong and dedicated disciple of Lord Guruvayurappan.
Chembai was known to personally oversee this festival for more than half a century. He would invite anybody who had just a smidgen of interest in the Carnatic art form from little kids on the streets to bigtime musicians of his era.
The massive magnitude of this festival competed in size with the Aradhana, which has been known as the biggest single celebration of homage to the man who obtained the sainthood of Samadhi. After the death of Chembai in 1974, the Gurvayur adopted the festival and changed the name into Chembai Sangeetholsavam in honour of Chembai.
In this festival, approximately 3000 musicians gather together to sing and this goes on until the 15th day when they sing the five best songs of Chembai on the day of the Guruvayur Ekadasi. It was formerly a two day event but has waxed in popularity since its inception and now takes 12 to 15 days in its current format.
Madras Music Festival (Carnatic)
Duration 9 – 10 weeks
In this huge festival of diverse classical music, a substantial number of Carnatic music is played by very professional musicians. The objective of this festival is to allow lovers of Carnatic music to bask in the resplendent performances by these artists and to give the opportunity to budding young musicians to showcase their talent and ability.
The spectators consists of audiences from India and the international Indian community who have come in contact with classical music from India and love it well enough to be present at the festival.