Karnataka or Kannada Rajyotsava or Karnataka Formation Day is celebrated on 1 November every year. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Karnataka or formation of the state. This was the day when all the Kannada language-speaking regions of South India were merged to form the state of Karnataka in 1956. The Rajyotsava day is listed as a government holiday in the state of Karnataka. It is marked by the announcement and presentation of the honors list for Rajyotsava Awards by the Government of Karnataka, hoisting of Karnataka flag with an address from the Chief Minister and Governor of the state along with community festivals. Kannada people wish each other by saying kannadada Rajyotsava da shubhaashayagalu.
It is said that the first person who dreamt of unifying the State was Aluru Venkata Rao in 1905 with the Karnataka Ekikarana movement. In 1950 with India becoming republic, gave birth to the state of Mysore including various places in south India. On November 1 in 1956, Mysore state, comprising most of the area of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore, was merged with the Kannada-speaking areas of the Bombay and Madras presidencies, as also of the principality of Hyderabad, to create a unified Kannada-speaking sub national entity.
On this day as the red and yellow Kannada flags are hoisted at different strategic locations across the state and the Kannada anthem – “Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujate” is chanted. Religion not being a factor, the Rajyotsava is celebrated by Hindus, Muslims and Christians as well. The state government asserts Rajyotsava awards, awarded to people who contributed in the development of Karnataka and to students who have won medals in various national games. The Chief Minister of the State inaugurates the cultural show which is normally held at Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore. The celebrations are marked by multicoloured tableaux carrying the picture of the Goddess Bhuvaneshwari. The colourful procession with performances of the folk artists in the fields of drama – Bayalata, traditional dance like Dollu Kunitha, Kamsale, Veeragase, Kolata, etc. Overseas Kannada organisations also take part in the festivities by arranging cultural events in countries like USA, Singapore, Dubai, Muscat, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland.