The beauty of India truly lies in its inherent and matchless diversity. Variety breathes in communal, ethnic, cultural, and climatic differences. Barring the intermittent moments of violent expressions of internal differences, the country is an example of a strengthful solidarity among cohabiting and opposite groups.
A similar tone of diversity exists in the different types of festivals that are celebrated wide across the geography of the country. One hand there are idol worships and on the other there are Melas that have acquired huge fame. Again while there are festivals surrounding harvests, there are fairs with workshops surrounding literature and science. Indian festivals peculiarly vary in tone, context, and motto, and one such peculiar festival is the Firefly festival.
Where does it take place?
The Firefly festival takes place every year in Purushwadi in the month of June. Purushwadi is a beautiful hamlet that is situated 220 km away from Mumbai. Here thrives a beautiful tribal community, Hindu Mahadeo Koli tribe, which excels in rice cultivation.
What are fireflies and why do fireflies light up?
Fireflies are beetles with wings. They are found in abundance in the tropical and temperate climates.
They are perhaps the best of examples of the phenomenon of bioluminescence. The fireflies are attributed with a unique organ situated in their lower abdomen, which emits light. The light is an important feature of their existence as they use it for communication.
When to go?
The date of inception for the festival tends to vary from year to year. But it commences during the summer months, right before the onset of the monsoons - primarily from the month of May-end to mid-June.
Are there other places to spot fireflies?
Well yes there are! Aside from Purushwadi, there are many more places where you can spot the fireflies. Places such as Rajmachi, Prabalmachi, Igatpuri, and Malshej Ghat are spots where you can drive to spot the beautiful fireflies.
Where to stay?
If you desire to experience this wondrous phenomenon of the nature, you indeed have to travel and stay at a nearby site. There are quite a few options when it comes to the lodging bit -
1. If you are an adventurous traveller you may want to camp by a lake and make the experience extremely personal as well as close to the nature.
2. On the other hand if you want to stay close to the nature yet want to maintain the company of others you can certainly choose to camp near a campsite.
3. And finally if safety is your chief concern without shortchanging yourself on the experience, you can sojourn at the house of villager. It will also earn you an insight into the village life.
Interesting facts about the fireflies -
1. The male fireflies radiates light to attract female counterparts.
2. The light that the fireflies emit are either of the three colours - orange, green, and yellow.
3. There are some fireflies that are carnivorous as adults. They tend to prey on other fireflies.
4. The firefly population is unfortunately on the decrease. The principal reasons accounting for this unfortunate development is the constant shrinking of their natural habitat as well as light pollution.
5. Even the larvae of the fireflies emit light and they are known as ‘glowworms’.
6. The fireflies drown themselves into a mode of hibernation during the wintry months.
7. There are more than 2000 species of fireflies. They live to mate and lay eggs, and finally they die.
8. The lifespan of a firefly is around 2 months.
9. Each firefly has a unique way of flashing its light.
10. To locate the fireflies you need to stroll through the woods in the dark - but its worth an unforgettable experience.
Excited? All you have to do is book a holiday and fly to any one of the mentioned destinations to experience the show!
Author : Satarupa Hajra