Himachal Pradesh is a vibrant north Indian state. This article lists the top festivals that are celebrated in this state:
The festival of Holi is celebrated with much enthusiasm in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Holi is known as the festival of colours. It is celebrated in the month of March every year and it spans for two days. The first day starts off with fasting and prayers. In the evening, bonfires are lit in celebration of the triumph of good over evil. This also symbolises the end of the harsh winters. The second day commences with people playing with colours and coloured water. Though Holi is celebrated all over Himachal Pradesh, but the most extravagant celebrations are held at places like Palampur in Kangra and Sujanpur in Hamirpur.
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Lohri is also known as Maghi festival. This festival is celebrated annually in Himachal Pradesh sometime in the middle of January. This festival commemorates the last day for sowing of the rabi or winter crops. This day generally marks the middle of winter. This festival is celebrated by community bonfires, dances and folk songs.
Gochi Festival is celebrated annually in Himachal Pradesh. It is celebrated in the Bhaga Valley region of the state. This festival celebrates the birth of the male child. Mock marriages of underage children around the age of six are performed. Since this is in winter, children commemorate this day by playing with snowballs.
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Baisakhi festival is a very important festival celebrated in Himachal Pradesh. It is held in the month of April. It commemorates the first day of spring or the first “Baisakh” and it celebrates the passing of winter. This is mainly a rural festival. This festival celebrates the sowing of new crops. People take dips in the Ganga on this day, in various places like Rewalsar, Tattapani is which near Shimla, and at the Prashar lakes which are near Mandi. There are different village fairs held which introduce and combine dancing, wrestling, and archery.
Gugga Fair is a fair celebrated annually in the different places of Himachal Pradesh. It is celebrated and held in places like Sirmour, Chamba, and Bilaspur. The fairs are all held in the month of August. The Gugga fair worships the Nag God of Gugga.
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The Fullaich or Phulech festival is celebrated annually in the different places of Himachal Pradesh. . It is celebrated and held in places like Kinnaur. The festival is held in the month of September. This is a famous autumn festival of flowers that is celebrated at the end of the autumn season. For this festival, the local villagers go to the hillsides to collect wild flowers and bring the collected flowers to the village square. These flowers are then offered in prayer to the local deity. There are celebrations in the evening of dancing, singing, and feasting.
The Dussehra festival is the famous festival which is celebrated annually in the different places of Himachal Pradesh. . It is celebrated mainly in Kullu. This festival is held in the month of October. In Kullu, on the occasion of the Dussehra festival, the people collect more than 200 deities which are of the valley and use these in order to pay their respects to the Lord Raghunathji, and to ask him to bless them. The ‘Silver Valley’ is filled with dancing, singing, and feasting. By the history of Himachal Pradesh which dates back to the 17th century, the ancient local King Jaganand put up an idol of Lord Rama or King Raghunath on a throne as a part of his penance. Lord Rama came to be the deity who is worshipped by the valley dwellers. That is how the story of Kullu Dussehra came to be.
Thus, Himachal Pradesh is steeped in multi culturist diversity. These festivals help to bring out the true essence of a particular society.