1 Puli Kali or Play of the tiger
Puli Kali is a recreational folk art associated with Onam in the state of Kerala. The practice of Puli Kali goes back a couple of hundred years to when a local king introduced this folk art. On the fourth day of Onam celebrations (Nalaam Onam), performers painted like tigers and hunters in bright yellow, red, and black dance to the beats of instruments like Udukku and Thakil.
2 Thaipoosm Festival
Thaipusam or Thaipoosam is a festival celebrated by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February) to honor Lord Murugan. The devotees exercise fasting for 48 days and pierce their tongue, cheeks and other parts of the bodies. It is definitely not for faint hearted!
3 Lathmar Holi
Lathmar Holi is a festival that celebrated days before the actual Holi takes place in Barsana and Nandgaon near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women chase or beat men with lath or sticks just like Lord Krishna was chased when he was teasing the women of the area as per the legends.
4 Dhinga Gavar
This traditional festival is rather fun and is celebrated in Jodhpur. The story connects to the Parvati (ganguar), Shiva’s wife, who once teased him by dressing up as a tribal woman. So people set up 11 statues of Dhinga gavar at various locations, adorned with 30kgs of gold. Women of the region dress up variously as dacoits, queens, kings, police, sages, etc. It is quite a big deal because these women hire makeup artists and rent fancy costumes days in advance. They patrol the streets after sunset, and men of the city try to get in their way to get beaten up.
Jallikattu is a traditional bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu which is organised during Pongal. The angry and wild bulls are chased by men to snatch the prize entangled in their horns. Many people have died during this extreme sport.