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Transcending backgrounds and boundaries, Karnataka Rajyotsava Day is celebrated on November 1 to commemorate the day when Kannada dominant regions in South India merged together to form the state of Karnataka. We love grand festivities and this day marks one of the biggest festivals in Karnataka; observed as a holiday in the state by the government and celebrated worldwide by Kannadigas. Along with its colourful events and grandeur, the annual Rajyotsava Awards are also presented by the state Government on this day.
History of Karnataka Rajyotsava Day
With different cultures, religions and sects, what is truly remarkable about Karnataka Rajyotsava Day is its celebration of unity and solidarity. Initially starting off as a movement, Aluru Venkata Rao dreamt of the creation of the state of Karnataka in 1905.
In 1950, when provinces were being divided in India on the basis of language spoken in the respective regions, the state of Mysore was born in Southern India. On 1 November 1956, surrounding areas of Madras, Bombay and Hyderabad with Kannada speakers were merged with Mysore to create a singular Kannada dominant territory.
Even with new areas as part of its boundary, the unified state was still under the core name of Mysore. However, the people of North Karnataka were not in favour of retention of this original name and so, on 1 November 1973, the state was renamed to ‘Karnataka.’ At the time of this historical decision, Devaraj Arasu was the state Chief Minister.
Every year, this day is acknowledged with great zeal and exuberance – with community events, concerts and citizens donning the colours of the flag of Karnataka, red and yellow. Kannadigas are famous for their culture, dances, music, and prose and they go all out on this day to cherish their uniqueness and celebrate their unity.
Priding on their contributions, the prestigious Rajyotsava Awards are hosted by the Government of Karnataka annually on this day, followed by the state flag hoisting ceremony. Karnataka Rajyotsava is essentially an opportunity to pay tribute to the state, rejoice at its progress over the years and work towards its continued excellence.
Karnataka Rajyotsava Day timeline
Britain sign a peace treaty with Tippu Sahib of Mysore
Aluru Venkata Rao initiates the Karnataka Ekikarana movement and originates the idea of unifying Kannada speaking regions under one state.
Initially popularised for the Kannada movement, the bi-colored yellow and red flag representing Karnataka is created by Ma Ramamurthy- journalist, writer and social activist.
The formerly known state of Mysore is renamed Karnataka.
Karnataka Rajyotsava Day FAQs
Why is Karnataka Rajyotsava celebrated?
Celebrated annually on November 1, the day marks the historical coming together of all South Indian Kannada speaking areas to create the state of Karnataka in 1956.
Can this holiday be celebrated outside Karnataka?
Absolutely! Whether you are in India or any other country, you can always get into the spirit of the holiday and represent and stand in solidarity with Kannadigas. Just don’t count on your boss letting you off work, as it is a Government holiday only within Karnataka.
How many languages are spoken in Karnataka?
Estimatedly 50 tribal languages are native to the region of Karnataka. These are additional to the Scheduled 22 languages. Approximately 72 languages in total are spoken in this state.
Karnataka Rajyotsava Day Activities
A popular tradition - the delightfully coloured flag of Karnataka can be hoisted on the day of Rajyotsava along with chanting of the state anthem. Ensure that all community members are in attendance to emulate the feeling of unity and brotherhood. The more the merrier!
Host a costume contest
With yellow and red as the main theme of the day’s proceedings, set up a costume competition! It can either be based on historical figures or the representing state colours. If the latter is selected, two teams can be formed and games can be played. Giveaway prizes will be awarded to the winner of the best costume!
Attend a cultural event
As with any major historical commemoration, cultural programs are a great way to get people to participate as well as entertain audiences. Organise song competitions, folk dances, concerts, skit performances, or dramas based on history or legendary figures.
5 Facts About Karnataka Rajyotsava Day
Origins of its name.
Old scriptures attribute the origin of the name Karnataka to Karu-nadu, which means elevated land.
Home to musical prodigies
Karnataka is the only state in India which boasts a rich history of both Hindustani and Carnatic music. Musical maestros like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Sawai Gandharva grew up in Northern Karnataka.
Highest literature awards
Karnataka has eight Jnanapith Award winners in the category of literature, second only to ten for Hindi.
Karnataka’s unparalleled raw silk
India’s largest producer of raw silk is Karnataka, and is especially famous for its luxuriously woven silk saris.
Different languages and dialects.
Kannada is the official language of Karnataka, but the residents of the state also speak other languages including Konkani, Tulu, Kodava and Havyaka.
Why We Love Karnataka Rajyotsava Day
Every culture has its own traditions
It truly fascinates us and leaves us in awe to think of all the different areas of the world with its unique traditions leading from a powerful history. Karnataka is a rich and diverse region of South India filled with treasures of literature, music, food and heritage.
Unity, peace and brotherhood
At the core of the formation of Karnataka are values of unity, peace and strength. The day stands for all things solidarity - regardless of religion and ethnic backgrounds. This is one holiday we can really get behind!
Celebration of uniqueness
Who doesn’t love to go all out and celebrate festivities? There is something infectiously lovable about Karnataka Rajyotsava Day, and the enthusiasm with which Kannadigas celebrate their uniqueness is enough to make anyone want to join them.
Karnataka Rajyotsava Day dates