Ganjam District is a beautiful holder of many fairs and festivals. The District enjoys celebration of different festivals round the year. The District is not only famous for its beaches, historic monuments, scenic beauty but also for its colourful festivals. Those festivals in tha Ganjam District can be categorised into two different parts, one is Domestic festival and the other one is Public festivals. The Domestic festivals are observed in each Public household and are celebrated by large number of people in a group. Festivals like Dola Yatra, Tara Tarini Yatra, Thakurani Yatra, Siva Ratri etc the commonly celebrated festivals in Ganjam.
Dola Yatra is the most colourful festival popularly known as Holi. Celebrated on Phalgun purnima (Month of March) and a day succeeding is based on the romantic plays of Radha and Krishna. On this day people converge on the streets with their idols on splendidly decorated “Vimans” singing devotional songs in their praise and throwing colour powders and water on each other. This yatra is widely celebrated throughout the District with much fun and devotion.
Jhulan Yatra is observed in the month of Sravan. It starts from the 10th day after Amabasya & ends on the day of Poornima. In this festival lord Radha Krishna play swing. This day is also celebrated as the birth day of lord Balaram, the elder Brother of lord Krishna.This is also observed as “Rakhi Poornima”. On this day, every sister ties rakhi on the right hand of her brother wishing for his well being. This festival shows the sacred relation between brother & sister.This festival is celebrated by girls wearing new dresses & sweets.
Tara Tarini Mela is another famous festivals of the District which is not only celebrated in the District but also in the State. The Tara Tarini Mela, one of the biggest fairs of Odisha is celebrated on each Tuesday in the month of Chaitra (mid March to mid April). Lots of people gather together to take a glance of their Goddess Tara Tarini and performs their Votive (Mannat/ Manasika) after fulfillment of their desire.
In Thakurani Yatra, Goddess Budhi Thakurani is worshiped. She is shifted to a temporary temple during yatra period.Everyday even if goddess Budhi Thakurani visits different streets in a colorful procession to give darshan to her devotees. This yatra is observed for 21 days or 1 month. The puja area is decorated with colorful lights and various pandals displaying religious & modern themes.
There are other famous festivals like Thakurani Yatra, Durga Puja, Shiv Ratri, Ratha Yatra, Makar Sankranti, Manabasa Gurubara, Danda Yatra etc are also celebrated in Ganjam District.
The cultural heritage of the Ganjam District is envisaged from the folk dances of the native inhabitants here. The cultural life of native of Ganjam are revealed through folk dances. Prahlad natak is a form of traditional theater with a one play repertoire from the southern District of Odisha, is commonest in Ganjam. The dance is performed on an open stage at the summit of which the throne of Hiranyakashipu is placed.Gotipua Nacha is another facet of the cultural dance of Ganjam District which has gained immense popularity in the recent times. Ghanta Mrudanga combined together present the folk music of the Vaishnava sect, where the main deities of adulation are Radha, Krishna, Lord Jagannath etc. Bharatila, the most colourful presentation of Folk dance is another most famous traditional dance of the District.