If you want to experience the majestic power of nature, you must plan a visit to Uttarakhand, which is also called Dev Bhoomi or the Land of Gods. The religious environment of this state is where people immerse themselves spiritually. Different tribal communities, ethnic groups, and even immigrants celebrate the festivals of Uttarakhand with enthusiasm and vigor.

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Let us go through this article to get a glimpse of the festivals of Uttarakhand and how people of this state celebrate them.

Popular Festivals Celebrated in Uttarakhand:

Once you experience the festivals of Uttarakhand, you will get a chance to understand the beauty and the majestic power of nature. Moreover, the holy temples, beliefs of people are beautifully intertwined with the festivals making your trip a memorable one.

1. Kumbh Mela:

Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand is one of the famous and most significant festivals of the state and lasts three months long, every twelve years in Haridwar. This congregation involves the devotees taking a dip in the holy river Ganga globally. After the elaborate rituals, the exact date is picked by the Vikrant calendar. This festival is celebrated every four years in rotation between Haridwar, Nasik, Ujjain, Allahabad, where one place is selected only once in 12 years. Four drops of elixir were dropped in the four places where Kumbh Mela is now celebrated, when Lord Vishnu was transporting the elixir, as per the mythological tale.

Key Attraction: Congregation of pilgrims from all over the country to take a dip in the holy river.

When: During the end of the year or the beginning of the year.

Where: Haridwar.

Duration of Festival: Three months.

2. Vasant Panchami:

Basant Panchami in Uttarakhand is celebrated to commemorate the coming of the spring season and has significant importance in the state. This festival is celebrated in the Magh month and marks the end of wintertime. People perform traditional dances like chounphula and Jhumelia while the beating of drums reverberates in the surroundings. During the occasion of Basant Panchami, a fair is held within the premises of the Bharat temple at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Jagat Guru Shankaracharya installed the idol in this temple, and Lord Bharat is carried through the town in a procession during Vasanth Panchami.

Key Attraction: Goddess Saraswathi is dressed in yellow clothing, flying kites, and Jhumelia dances.

When: January/February.

Where: All over the state.

Duration of Festival: One day.

3. Kumanoi Holi:

The historical and cultural celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi in Kumaon, India, is Kumaoni Holi, which is prominent in Uttarakhand. It signifies the end of winter, the beginning of the sowing season, and the victory of good over evil. As the name suggests, it is one of the important festivals of the Kumauni people. The local traditions of Kumaon and the cultural practice of North India are amalgamated during this celebration.

Key Attraction: Folk music.

When: March.

Where: Kumaon.

Duration of Festival: One day.

4. Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra:

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra is organized once every twelve years for three weeks and called Himalayan Mahakumbh. This sacred Yatra attracts devotees from both the Garhwal and Kumaon regions commemoration to Goddess Nanda Devi. This Yatra almost takes 22 days to complete as the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra spans over 280 km. While the Brahmins take care of the ceremonial parasols, thakurs blow bhankauras, Dalits play drums involving all sections of the society.

Key Attraction: Jat yatra across the place with all the devotees.

When: It varies according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar.

Where: Chamoli district, Garhwal region.

Duration of Festival: Three weeks.

5. Kandali Festival:

Kandali festival is in commemoration of the flower called Kandali, which blooms once in 12 years and is celebrated by the Rung tribe. Devotees prepare an idol of Lord Shiva from buckwheat and barley and worship the idol with great vigor and are celebrated for a week. Then, the locals raise the flag, perform puja, a ceremonial feast, and honor the icon. Finally, the shrub of Kandali is attacked by the locals.

Key Attraction: Lord Shiva idols are made with buckwheat and barley, puja, and a ceremonial feast.

When: August-September.

Where: Pithoragarh district.

Duration of Festival: One week.

6. Harela and Bhitauli Festival:

Harela in Uttarakhand commemorates the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati and marks the advent of the rainy season. Small idols of the goddess and gods are made with clay called DIkars, which are worshipped. This festival provides an opportunity to test the quality of the seeds in the stores by the cultivator.

Bithauli festival is an occasion where the young girls in the family are given money. This occasion is significant to the agriculturally based communities in the region. Women sow seven grains in the soil, symbolizing the future harvest, on the first day of this nine-day festival. The germination process produces yellow leaves, which are called Harela and are cut on the tenth day.

Key Attraction: Harela is sent to the relatives.

When: July-August.

Where: Kumaon.

Duration of Festival: Nine days.

7. Ganga Dussehra:

The advent of the holy river Ganga from the heavenly abode is celebrated as Dasar or Ganga Dussehra in Uttarakhand. It is a ten-day-long festival and falls on the Dashami of the month of Jyeshtha. Devotees take a dip in the holy water to get rid of their sins for ten consecutive days on the ghats of Ganga in Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Allahabad. This enriching experience is considered an act of purification, and the deity is offered watermelons and kakdi during the darshan.

Key Attraction: Devotees from all over the country take a dip in the river Ganga.

When: June.

Where: Rishikesh.

Duration of Festival: 10 days.

See Also: Must See Temples in Uttarakhand

8. Vat Savitri:

Yet another famous festival of Uttarakhand is the Vat Savitri puja which commemorates the legend of Savitri, who performed harsh penance to bring back the life of her husband, Satyavan. She melted the heart of Yamraj with her intense penance and rock-solid determination. During this festival, married women offer prayers to the deity Savitri and a banyan tree while fasting for the entire day for the welfare of their husbands.

Key Attraction: Women fast for the health and long life of their husbands.

When: June.

Where: All over the state.

Duration of Festival: One day.

9. Purnagiri Mela:

Commemorating Goddess Sati, the Purnagiri Mela is a sacred festival celebrated in the temple with the same name. The purnagiri temple is situated where the Vishnu chakra cuts down the navel of Sati and Savant Prajapati and is also one of the 108 Siddha peethas, which has a great religious significance. This mela is spanned throughout two months, and pilgrims visit the area throughout the year.

Key Attraction: It is one of the Siddha peethas.

When: March-April.

Where: Purnagiri temple.

Duration of Festival: Two months.

10. Syalde Bikhauti Mela:

Syalde Bikhauti Mela is celebrated in the town of Dwarahat and is an annual fair. This mela is held in two phases, the Vimandeshwar temple is the first phase, and the Dwarahat marketplace contains the second phase. The gathering of people adorns traditional foliage, and you can witness folk dances and songs. The striking of the stone (Oda) Oda Bhetna commemorating the fallen leader is an essential ritual of this mela. The cultural convergence provides a display of numerous traditions and the lip-smacking delicacy of Jalebi.

Key Attraction: Folk music, dance, exchange of Jalebi.

When: April-May.

Where: Vimandeshwar temple and Dwarahat marketplace.

11. Phool Devi Festival:

Phool Devi festival commemorates the coming of the spring season and celebrates the year’s harvest making it a harvest festival of Uttarakhand. Locals prepare a ceremonial pudding with jaggery, curd, and flour, a prominent part of this festival. Young girls sing the folk song of Phool Devi, offering coconut, rice, and flowers while going from house to house. The flowers and rice placed on the doorsteps on the houses are believed to be blessings, and the girls are offers blessings and sweets in return.

Key Attraction: Blossoming flowers, folk songs, ceremonial pudding called dei.

When: March-April.

Where: All over the state.

Duration of Festival: One day.

12. Ramman:

Ramman is a festival celebrated in Uttarakhand where devotees perform the epic Ramayana with the help of songs and dances, as the name suggests. Then, villagers start praying to Lord Ganesha and play their respective roles irrespective of the caste and creed. The musical compilation of local legends appealing to the deities called Jagar is the essential aspect of this festival. Ramman commemorates the enactment of a performance part of the ritual with a historical memory of Maal Nritya.

Key Attraction: Beautiful performances of Ramayana in the form of songs and dances.

When: April.

Where: Saloor-Dungra towns in the Chamoli area.

Duration of Festival: 11 or 13 days.

13. Ghee Sankranti:

Ghee Sankranti is a famous festival of Uttarakhand, which marks the onset of the harvesting season, portraying the gratitude of the locals who earn a living through farming. It is celebrated in August when the milk-laden cattle are read to be milked, the crops are thriving, and it is also called the Olgia festival. According to ancient tradition, maternal uncles and father-in-laws received presents from nephews and sons-in-law, respectively. This evolved into the artisans and agriculturalists giving gifts to their landowners, including axes, ghee, firewood, and a metallic toothpick.

Key Attraction: Consuming chapatis stuffed with urad dal with ghee.

When: August.

Where: All over the state.

Duration of Festival: One day.

14. Hill Jatra:

Hill Jatra is the famous festival of pastoralists and agriculturalists in Uttarakhand. Kumaour village in India is where the Hill Jatra was first observed. To ensure a good yield for the ongoing farming season, a ceremony related to the plantation of paddy where the devotees sacrifice buffalo to please the gods. People wear maska and express pride in the rich cultural heritage of Uttarakhand while reciting songs during the festival. The festival is made the wholesome and immersive experience as traditional dances like Chanchare are performed.

Key Attraction: Performances of the traditional dances like Chanchari, White clothed deer is worshipped.

When: September.

Where: Kumaoar village, Pittorgargh village.

Duration of Festival: One.

15. Uttarayani Mela:

Uttarayani Mela is celebrated on Makar Sankranti in Uttarakhand, which usually lasts for a week. Traditionally, the mela is significant in Bageshwar, but it is also observed in Ranibagh and Haneswari. The Uttarayani Mela is the bank of river Saryu, the ground of the spiritual Bagnath temple. Devotees take a dip in the river water as devotees believe it to be optimistic as throughout this mela, the sun relocates from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere.

Key Attraction: People take a dip in the holy water during this auspicious festival.

When: January.

Where: Kumaon, Bageshwar, Ranibagh, Hanseswari.

Duration of Festival: One week.

16. Magh Mela:

Magh Mela is one of the famous fairs of Uttarakhand, which is prominently celebrated in the district of Uttarkashi. It is considered a great source of income via tourism as devotees flock to the Ramlila ground. Devotees immerse themselves in the Ganga river, and the deity is carried in the palanquins or dolis. Artisans from all over Uttarakhand exhibit the local produce at this fair.

Key Attraction: Devotees immerse themselves in the Ganga river, Skiing.

When: January.

Where: Uttarkashi district.

Duration of Festival: One week.

See Also: Places to Visit in Uttarakhand

17. Bissu Mela:

Celebrated by the Jaunsari tribe, whose origins can be traced back to the Pandavas, Bissu Mela is an expansive fair organized in the Chakrata block of Dehradun. Villagers gather together to shower their love and affection to Santoora Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, creating a significant attraction to the mela. It commemorates the virtue of the good harvest season in Uttarakhand and is celebrated over one week. Men and women ring the lost traditions to life by wearing vivid and flashy clothes and groove to the flok music.

Key Attraction: Gathering of villagers to shower their affection for the incarnation of Goddess Durga, “Santoora Devi.”

When: March and April.

Where: Chakrata block of Dehradun.

Duration of Festival: One week.

18. Kanwar Yatra:

The annual pilgrimage of shiva devotees to Haridwar, Gaumukh, and Gangotri in Uttarakhand is called the Kanwar Yatra, and the devotees are taking this Yatra are called Kanvarias. This is because devotees carry the holy water from the banks of Ganga to the Shiva temple barefoot. Thus, the Kanwarias can rest during the journey in the numerous makeshift accommodations across Gangotri and Haridwar and is considered one of the largest group gatherings in India.

Key Attraction: Devotees carry the diety and travel on bare feet to the holy river.

When: July-August.

Where: Haridwar.

Duration of Festival: One month.

19. International yoga festival Rishikesh:

The international yoga festival celebrates Yoga organized in Parmarth Niketan Ashram Rishikesh, which attracts people from worldwide. During this festival, professionals teach many Indian sciences of stress management along with Yoga. Campfires, cultural song and dance performances, bhajan and kirtans, Ganga Arti, provision of satvik bhojan are some of the attractions of this one-week-long festival.

Key Attraction: Highly trained professionals give lectures about yoga classes.

When: March.

Where: Rishikesh.

Duration of Festival: Seven days.

The festivals of Uttarakhand create a beautiful way to experience the culture and traditions of this state beautifully. If you are planning to visit the Land of gods, mark the dates during the festivals to enjoy them to the maximum. Go through this article and let us know if you found the information helpful!

FAQ:

1. What is Uttarakhand famous for?

Ans: Spellbinding landscapes, spiritual centers, holy rivers, composed Himalayas are some of the famous sites you can see in Uttarakhand. You can also get a glimpse of the fascinating history, enrapturing variety of flora and fauna, adventure sports.

2. What are the famous foods you must taste in Uttarakhand?

Ans: If you are planning to visit Uttarakhand, you most definitely need to eat the tasty delicacies of this state:

  • Aloo ke gutke.
  • Phaanu.
  • Chainsoo.
  • Kafuli.
  • Baadi.
  • Chudkaani.
  • Rus.
  • Dubuk.

3. What are the commonly spoken languages in Uttarakhand?

Ans: The official language of Uttarakhand is Hindi, and Indo-Aryan languages are the commonly spoken languages by most people. Garhwali, Kumauni, Punjabi, and Nepali are the other languages used in this state.

About Tejaswi

Tejaswi, a Master of Business Administration graduate, is our senior content writer, specializing in travel and lifestyle products. She is quite creative in her approach. Tejaswi ardently follows the latest news and present market trends and makes sure her readers are always up-to-date. In-depth research and follow-ups on any topic along with unique and knowledgable pieces of writing, is what makes her stand apart. Besides writing, Tejaswi also loves cooking, listening to music, and traveling.
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