Fairs & Festivals in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal fairs and festivals are very important in Himachal Pradesh among the locals. Peoples comes around from India and abroad to celebrate these festivals. You can explore here local culture and folk dances and many more.
Beginning of New Year in Lahaul valley. Lamas fix the date of festival, which is usually falls in the month of January.
In the month of January and peaks season of skiers this impressive festival celebrated with lot of fun at Manali (Held from 11 to 16 Jan).
Lohri or Maghi:
The festival of Lohri is celebrates in the most areas of Himachal Pradesh. This is the traditionally mid winter season and also commemorates the last sowing of Ravi crop. Community bonfire, dancing and folk songs mark the day.
Phagli is another important festival of the Lahaul valley. Phagli name derived from the month of Phagun the last month of winter and beginning of the spring season.
The festival of Makar Sankrati is celebrated with great fun and festivity at Solan 48 km from Shimla on Kalka Shimla highway.
Basant Panchmi marks arrival of spring season in lower part of state. The sky filled with colourful kites.
Baba Barbhag Singh Mela:
The festival of Baba Barbhag Singh held at Mairi in district in Una. In the month of February and dedicated to sage Baba Barbhag Singh was renewed for his spiritual powers.
The sacred days of Navratre are absorbed all over Himachal Pradesh. These secred days dedicated to Mata Druga Devi .The temples of Chintpurni and Jawala Mukhi are also major focus in these days.
As celebrated most part of the country Holi is also celebrated in Himachal Pradesh. The festival of colour and fun thousand of devotee throng to holy shrine at Ponta Sahib in sirmour district situated on bank of river Yamuna. Holi is also celebrated in Palampur and Sujaanpur.
Shivratri fair held in Mandi town in between February and March every year. The fair of Shivratri goes about weak long, well decorated hundreds of local Gods (Devta) and Goddess are participating in international Shivratrit fair at Mandi town. First stop over of the deities in Mahadev temple and then at Bhootnath Temple to pay their homage to Lord Shiva. The weak long festival celebrate with dance ,music and dramas. Shiv Ratri fair is also celebrated at Baijnath’s Shiva temple in Kangra district.
This fair basically a cattle fair buying and selling cattles done here. Local artist entertain the people on occasion of Nalwari fair. Wrestling matches also held here the fair is held in the month of March.
Bala Sundri Fair:
The fair of Bala Sundri held in Trilokpur near Nahan in Sirmaur district at the temple of Goddes Bala sundri which was build in 1573 by king Deep Prakash.
Held on the first day of Baisakh month which falls on 13th April according English calendar. Baisakhi is another major festival of Himachal Pradesh is celebrated with great ferbor and festivity. It bids a final fairwell to the winter. People take purifing dips in water at Tattapani. Near Shimla and Rewalsar lake near Mandi.
Celebrated in Chamba Sui fair is another exciting and funfield event.
The Dancing and folk songs in Kullu and Chamba celebrate the festival of Chait the first month of lunar calendar which falls in April.
Pagoda shaped temple of Goddess Hadimba Devi at Manali host of Dhoongri fair in the month of may. The colorful fair attended by people of Kullu valley and surrounding area.
Just 10KM from Shimla, Mashobra the host place of Sipi fair which held in the month of May every year… It is traditionally a time for match making.
Hang gliding rally begin in Billing near Kangra, summer festival also celebrated in Dharamshala and river festival also commence in the month of May in Kullu.
This fair is dedicated to goddess Shilooni the town named after it is the presiding deity of the region. The fair held in the second Sunday of the June month.
Full moon night in the month of June the Ghantal festival is celebrated in Guru Ghantal monastery in Lahaul Valley. Summer festivals held at Dalhousie, Dharamshala and Shimla are memorable events cultural programmes add colour to summer season these include folk dances, sports tournament and flower shows.
This fair held in Kaza the old trade route to Tibet and central Asia. Basically this event is a commercial festival. Where traders comes to sell their produce like wool, woollen cloths and dry fruits etc. The Lahaul festival is also celebrate during this season.
This festival announces the onset of the monsoon rains. The other attractions of this month are buffalo fights which mark the Sari fair at Arki.
Pauri festival held at Udaipur in Lahaul valley. The Trilokinath temple is the centre point of this festival. The temple is secred to Hindus and Buddhists alike.
The Shrawan Fair:
This fair is held at holy shrine of Naina Devi 32 km from Swarghat in Bilaspur District.
In upper Dharamshala at Dal Lake host the Dal fair in the month of August.
After celebrating Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna) the yatra begin to secred Lake of Manimahesh in Chamba district in the month of August.
Gugga fair celebrated in Chamba, Sirmaur and Bilaspur. This event connected with the worship of Gugga the Nag Devta.
Chamba the land of charm and beauty celebrated the Minjar fair on the bank of river Ravi in month of August / September. The Minjar Fair is held to please to Lord of rain -VARUN for timely rain in the region for good harvest. The thousands of peoples of Chamba and surrounding areas gathered here. It is time when lot of match making done.
Bharmour is the site for the Gaddi fair. Gaddies are nomadic people and they celebrate this yearly event for the period of six days.
Navratri (9 Durga) :
The sacred days of Navratre are absorved all over Himachal Pradesh. These secred days dedicated to Mata Druga Devi. The temples of Naina Devi, Brijeshwari, Chamunda, Chintpurni and Jwala Mukhi are also major focus in these days. A special millennium celebration. (Held from 28 Sept to 6 Oct every year)
Celebrated in Pangi valley in Chamba district witness a glories display of neighbourly affection and this occasion Dehant Nag is worshiped.
The most popular festival in Himachal is Dussehra, which is held in Kullu. Largest of all Fair in Himachal Dashehra is celebrated with great fervour and with festive mood. Dussehra is celebrate all over India but it at has got its own significant at Kullu. It commemorate when the Dushehra festival in other parts of country ends. The actual date of commencement of Dushehra festival is decided by Hadimba Devi. After that she bought to Kullu in two days in a procession where she is received by former king of Kullu. Then the ceremony begins.
On the opening day the idol of Ragunathji kept on well decorated chariot and attended by village Gods mounted in colorful decorated planquins is pulled from its fixed place in Dhalpur ground to the other corner of the ground by big ropes. The pulling of ropes is regarded sacred by local people. Around 300 Gods (Devta) of different villages arrive on the opening day and remains there for seven days and reached at Dhalpur ground. To pay their homage to Lord Ragunathji the chief deity of the region.
Traders from around the area came to festive to sell local products. Every evening a culture programme is organized by Kala Kendra at Dhalpur ground in which various artist from Russia, France and other country to participate. The Tourist from all over the world visit Himachal in the month of October specially to see Dushehra festival at Kullu. (Held from 8 to 14 Oct)
There are lot of lakes in Himachal Pradesh but Renuka is the most beautiful. The famous Renuka fair celebrated at seared lake in every year in the month of November. This fair is commemorate the secrifies of mother Renuka. She was killed by her son Parsuram under the order of his Rishi (saint) father Jamdagni.
The fair celebrates the immoratality of Renuka and her son. Thousand of devotee throng to this place to receive the blessing of their Gods and Goddess. It last for one week in which folk dances and cultural programme organized. On the bank of lake the temple of Parshu Ram and Renuka Devi are situated. An old agreeable ceremony takes place when the celebrants exchange turbans or caps even handful water to become brother and sisters in the name of deity.
On the bank of River Satluj 120 km from Shimla Rampur town host of famous fair of Lavi which is held in the month of November. The week long fair bring people from Kinnaur, Kullu and adjoining area for the trading of wool, woolen cloths, carpets and shawls as well as dry fruits and horses are bartered and sold. The town was once a major enter point on the old trade route to Kinnaur, Tibet, Ladakh and Afghanistan. Even these day the tradition is as vibrant as ever.
Christmas celebration grip the Shimla and Dalhousie and as church bells chime. The New Year eve is celebrated with great gaiety in Shimla and all Himachal once again prepares for another eventful year.
The Ice-Skating Carnival which held in Shimla in the month of December (10-12 Dec).
International Himalayan Festival:
International Himalayan Festival is held in Mcleodganj district Kangra (10-12 Dec).