JAISALMER: The grand finale of the three-day annual Desert Festival here coincided with the appearance of the rare Super Blue Blood Moon, providing spectators an experience of a lifetime.
Nestled in the golden sand dunes in the outskirts of Jaisalmer, the mesmerised audience watched as the rare, eclipsed full moon rose in to the night sky while Rajasthani folk dancers and musicians showcased the diverse culture of the 'Golden City'.
The annual Desert Festival is usually scheduled so that it ends on a full moon night.
During a supermoon, the full moon appears slightly larger and brighter than usual. It is called a blood moon when during an eclipse the moon appears red.
"I come for the festival every year, but this was the first time we saw the moon this way," Sumer Singh Bhati, a local resident who attended the grand finale with his family, told PTI.
From the popular Drag Queen Harish, who enthralled the audience with his dance, to the local music troupes, the performance brought alive the silent, barren desert land.
"No matter how famous we become, and where we travel, we always perform when Rajasthan Tourism invites us, because this is our home," said Uday Ram, a cross-dressing folk dancer of Rajasthan who is known by the stage name 'Bijli'.
The three-day festival, which began on January 29 and closed yesterday, exhibited the vibrant culture of Rajasthan.
Events included camel shows and races, moustache competition, beauty pageant and turban tying competitions, among others.
"We see a marked rise in tourists during these three days at the Jaisalmer Fort," said a Rajendra Gopa, a local tour guide in the city.
"We make it a point to give the stage to local, upcoming artists, rather than calling in famous names from outside,"
said Bhagirath Singh, an officer at the Rajasthan Tehsildar Services, who was involved in the preparations for the festival.
The festival ended with a spectacular show of fireworks in the night sky, while a group of men performed fire stunts by walking on a hot bed of burning embers.
The Desert Festival is organised by Rajasthan Tourism and District Administration of Jaisalmer every year since 1979 to attract tourists from across the country and the world.