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You are here :: Johansen Travels :: Festivals in Himachal
Festivals of Himachal, Himachal Festivals

There is a sobriety, but no less joy, when Lohri or Maghi comes along in mid-January. This is the traditionary mid-winter day and also commemorates the last sowing of the Rabi crops. Community bonfires, folk songs and dancing mark the festival. In tribal Spiti, Dechhang is celebrated at he height of winter, while the Lahaul area reserves it for early April. Paonta Sahib is a major focus on Guru Gobind Singh's birthday. The town and other gurudwaras close to it, are closely linked with the Guru's life.

Folk Dance Himachal On a mid-night towards the end of Paush, Phagli begins in Lahaul's pattan valley with snow being packed in a conical basket - kilta. This is upturned on a roof and resembles a Shivalinga. Shiva, Naga and the goddess Hadimba are worshipped, and the younger generation also mark it by venerating the village elders. Chhang and Lugari, locally brewed liquors flow freely and ritual dishes are eaten. Kinnaur's Sazi, also comes at around this time.

Snow continues to play a major part in February's festivals and Himachal's Winter Carnival is also held this month. Gochi in the Bhaga valley is an unusual festival when the villagers celebrate the birth of male children. Taken marriages of children below the age of six are also performed - and a lighter side comes with the snow balling every child participates in.

Festival tours himachal, Shimla Festivals The Baba Barbhag Singh Mela is held in Una and honours this sage who was renowned for his magical powers. Basant Panchmi marks the arrival of spring in the lower areas and every town seems to keep a reserve of colour for the occasion and the skies are filled with a medley of kites. Ritual dances and an unbelievable rich imagery mark Lossar. This is celebrated in Buddhist areas throughout the state - while Lahaul's monasteries have some of the most spectacular performances. On its eve, the stylised chhaam dance and elaborate costumes and masks, commemorate the assassination of the cruel Tibetan king, Langdarma in the 9th century. Often - through arongly - called "the devil dance", it symbolises the triumph of good over evil.

himachal festivals, festive tous himachal india March
Centered around the temple of Trilokinath, Char is celebrated in Lahaul. The town of Mandi with its ancient temples revels in the Shivratri fair for a whole week. On elaborately decorated palanquins, hundred of local deities are carried to the town. Accompained by folk bands, they make their first stop at the Madho Rai temple and then go to pay obeisance to lord Shiva at the Bhootnath temple. This is followed by festivities - music and song, dance and drama. Yet, all the while the atmosphere is surcharged with deep religious devotion. In the third week of March, the fascinating Nalwari fair is held at Bilaspur. Cattle is traded, there are wrestling bouts and aero and water sports shows are recent additions. Chait, the first month of lunar calendar is celebrated by the dancing of women in Kullu and by folk singing in Chamba.

Held on the first Baisakh - the 13th April - Baisakhi is one of Himachal's most important festivals. Rooted in the rural agrarian tradition, it bids a final farewell to winter. At Tattapani near Shimla, at the Rewalsar and Prashar lakes near Mandi, people take purifying dips in the water. Numerous village fairs complete with wrestling, dancing and archery are also held on this day.

himachal festival baisakhi, Dhoongri Festival Kullu Manali India In April, Rali with its clay models is marked in Kangra. Clay models are made in every house to mark that day, while unmarried girls pray for grooms of their choice and the newly-wedded ask for happiness and prosperity. At Chamba, the Sui Mela is thronged by women and children and at the village of Taraur in district Mandi, the Mahu Nag fair is held. The holy Markandaya fair is held near Bilaspur and the Rohru Jatar is held in honour of the deity, Shikhru.

May gushes in with a whole series of river rafting festivals and water sports Regattas, throughout the state. Focused around the goddess Hadimba Devi, Kullu celebrates the Dhoongri fair. In the same district, the Banjar fair and the Sarhi Jatar are held in May. Near Shimla at the exquisite glade of Sipur below Mashobra, the charming Sipi fair is held. It is traditionally a time for match-making.

A wide spectrum of national talent, a variety of programmes and a splendid setting make Shimla's Summer festival a memorable event. Shimla also hosts the Red Cross Fair, sport tournaments, flower shows, a photographs and posters exhibition and a fashion show based on folk costumes. The Kangra festival is also held in June at Kangra. At Solan, on the third sunday of the month, the Solan fair honours the goddess Shilooni, the presiding deity of the region. On June's full moon night, the Ghantal festival is held at Lahaul's guru Ghantal monastery.

Lahaul Festival Himachal, krishan Janamashtmi Festival Himachal India July
In the arid trans-Himalaya, at Kaza's Ladarcha fair, the old trade routes come alive as traders barter and sell a variety of goods and produce. At Keylong, the Lahaul festival is also held this month. Shravana Sankranti is celebrated at Nahan; at Arki, buffalo fights mark the Sair fair and conducted in honour of Banar devta of Shari, the Rampur Jatar is held near Jubbal in district Shimla.

Chamba's famous Minjar fair which celebrates the bounty of nature and prays for a good harvest is normally held in August. Also in Chamba, the Manimahesh Yatra to the sacred tarn of Manimahesh is held immediately after the festival of Janamashtmi. Celebrated in Chamba, Kullu and elsewhere, Chrewal, Badronjo or Patroru is a festival of fire and flowers - and a time for purification of the fields. In August, several places in Chamba, Bilaspur and Sirmour have the Gugga fair which is connected with the worship of Gugga, the Nag devta. The same month witnesses the Dal fair in upper Dharmsala. The Shravan fair is held at the shrine Naina Devi, while the Ashapuri fair is held in Kangra.

Kinnaur Festival Shimla, Shimla Festivals September
As the rains end, autumn sends flery colours racing through the hills. In Kinnaur, the festival of flowers, Fullaich opens a window to its remarkable people and their beautiful countryside. Villagers scout the hillsides for flowers which are collected in the village square. These are then offered to the local deity. Then comes a spate of revelry - singing, dancing and feasting. Kalpa has some of the most vibrant celebrations and every twelve years, there is the special festival. Also in September, at the village of Chhatrari, near Chamba and centered around the exquisite temple of Shakti Devi - a fair is held and masked dances performed. The Kangra valley celebrates the festival of Sair. This is also celebrated with stalls, singing and buffalo fights at Arki and Mashobra, both near Shimla. At Nurpur in Kangra, under the watchful walls of its old fort, the Nagini fair bids the summer farewell.

Dussehra Festival, Festivals of Kullu October
More traditionally, over two hundred deities coverage on Kullu for its unusual Dussehra celebrations. They pay homage to lord Raghunath while music and colour fill the Silver valley. Numerous stalls offer a variety of local wares. This is also the time when the International Folk festival celebrated. The Jwalamukhi temple in Kangra becomes the venue for a major fair. At Killar and Panai, the Phool Yatra witnesses a remarkable display of neighbourly affection and the Dehant Nag is worshipped.

Himachal festivals tours, food and craft mela Shimla himachal With winter just a hop and skip away, the age-old Lavi fair fills Rampur with a burst of activity. The town was once a major entrepot on the old trade routes to Kinnaur, Tibet, Ladakh and Afghanistan. Even today, the tradition is as vibrant as ever. By the churning waters of the river Sutlej, a variety of goods including wool, dry fruits and horses are bartered and sold.

As winter arrives, anglers shift to the Pong Dam. With the blessings of Nobel Laureate, his holiness the Dalai Lama, the b>International Himalayan festival is held in Kangra district. Troupes from the Himalayan nations are present. In their icy wake, the winter winds carry all the delights of ice-skating at Shimla. The extravaganza of the Ice Skating Carnival is normally reserved for December. Christmas celebrations overtake Shimla and Dalhousie and as the church bells chime, they carry away another event-packed year.
Kashmir :: Places of Interest :: Festivals in Kashmir :: Hotels in Kashmir
Himachal :: Places of Interest :: Festivals in Himachal :: Hotels in Himachal
Jammu :: Places of Interest :: Festivals in Jammu :: Hotels in Jammu
Leh Ladakh :: Places of Interest :: Festivals in Leh Ladakh :: Hotels in Leh Ladakh :: Monasteries in Leh Ladakh
Kashmir Tour Packages
:: Poshwan Kashmir :: Kashmir Magical Tour :: Janat - E - Kashmir :: Kashmir Splendour Tour
Himachal Tour Packages
:: Hill Station Tour :: Best of Himachal :: Himachal Tour Package :: Amritsar, Dalhousie Tour :: Dharamsala With Leh Tour
Leh Ladakh Tour Packages
:: Trekking Tour Leh :: Leh Pangong Safari Tour :: Srinagar Combi (Kargil + Leh) Tour
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