Himachal Pradesh is a land of cultural diaspora! Words fail to define the mixture of different cultures one can see here. For the people of Himachal Pradesh, every day is nothing much less than a celebration or jubilation. The festivals vary in terms of scale but a lot of them are attended by huge crowds who want to carry forward the rich legacy and rituals of their ancestors.
In addition to this, the state holds a raft of bucket-list worthy festivals and fairs, reflecting its rich and also colorful heritage, culture, traditions as well as beliefs.
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List of Famous Himachal Pradesh Festivals
1. Halda festival – Invite the New Year
Halda Festival Himachal Pradesh Dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Shashikar Apa, Halda festival is celebrated with great zeal and also enthusiasm in order to celebrate the new year. The actual day of the celebration is determined by the Lamas. People of Lahaul areas integrated as well as enjoy their new year by performing music.
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Lamas also choose a different site to execute an old ritual as per which, every household carries few branches of a cedar tree to perform a bonfire. The bonfire signifies the unity of the community. It is much more popular in the valleys of Keylong, River Chandra as well as River Bhaga.
2. Chet Festival
(Dholru) is the first month of the lunar year and also the very first day of the month is celebrated with an idea to bring happiness and prosperity. This festival is known as Chatrali in Kullu and Dholru in Bharmaur area of Chamba district. In area Kangra, Hamirpur and also Bilaspur, very first day of Chet month hold special importance.
Navratras are celebrated with wonderful interest in Himachal Pradesh. Durga Ashtami is of great significance throughout the state. People visit nearest Durga temple to provide prayer during Navratras.
It is called Bisowa in Kangra, Bissue in Shimla hills and Lisshoo in Pangi-Chamba. This festival is generally celebrated on 13th of April. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People take holy dip at Haridwar, Tattapani near Shimla, Banganga near Kangra, Markanda near Bilaspur. During day time, Baisakhi fair is held at many places with traditional gaiety and attraction. Women’s participation in large number add special color to the festive mood of the people.
It is also known as Shegtsum in Lahaul, Dhakhrain in Jubbal as well as Kinnaur. This Festival is celebrated on the Ist Sawan – 16th July. Few days before the festival, seeds of five to seven types of grains are planted with each other in small basket full of earth by any family near the place of the house divine beings. Stems are offered to household divine beings and are also placed on the upper frame of the door. Farmers do not yoke oxen on this particular day. Blood sucking insects like Lice, Pests, and Flees etc. are shed with cowdung balls. People in Kinnaur district garland town deity with wild flowers. Dancing and singing is a typical practice throughout the festival.
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Rakhi is one of the major festivals celebrated throughout India. It is called Rakhrunya in Mandi district, Salunnu in Sirmaur area and also Rakhpunya in Shimla district. It is well known as ‘Rakhri’ in a lot of the Himachal Pradesh. It is celebrated on the moon full in Shrawan, when sis connections spiritual string round the wrist of her bro and also looks for defense and love in exchange. Brother too gives her, either money or some other gift with sweets.
It is also referred to as Prithvi pooja in some places. It is celebrated on the Ist of Bhadon – middle of August. This continues for full one month. The farmers do not yoke oxen during this month. In Kullu, this festival is known as Badranjo. In Chamba, it is called Pathroru. It is a festival of flowers here. This is an occasion of great celebration, particularly for girls who dance on this day.
It is a rite offered to any village deitiy. This is commemorated every year on the 4th day of the month of September. Mahasu Devta (divine being) is venerated in upper Shimla hills, Kinnaur and also Sirmaur areas of the state. Singing as well as dance is the usual feature of the festival.
Celebrated only in Kinnaur region in the month of Bhadon or in the beginning of Asauj. Peoples from each household proceed towards hilltops to accumulate flowers, which are supplied to village divine being and also later on these blossom garlands are distributed among peoples. Priest makes projections concerning crops as well as adjustments in seasons etc.
10. Kullu Dussehra
Kullu Dussehra Himachal Pradesh Dussehra celebration in Kullu is not at all similar to celebration in various other parts of the country as no porcelain figurine of Ravan or Kumbhkarna is burned. The traditional Kullu Dussehra is arranged in the month of October and gets off an amazing start with the standard procession of Lord Raghunathji. The Rath Yatra of the idol of Lord Raghunathji is led by the Kullu Raja and also town divine beings, as well as is called the running of the Gods. Lord Raghunathji saddled on a gaily attired chariot is pulled from its fixed place in Dhalpur Maidan to another place across the Maiden by big ropes.
For more information on festivals in Himachal Pradesh and tour packages for Himachal contact Swan Tours or call – 8287 000 333.