Popularly known as “Dev Bhoomi” or the “Land of the Gods,” Himachal Pradesh is well known for its fairs and festivals that are celebrated with joy and fervor. Fairs and festivals are a reason for the people of Himachal Pradesh to come together and get to know each other.
It is the perfect time to understand the customs and traditions of Himachal Pradesh in a better manner. The folk dances, music and historical background of Himachal Pradesh are better understood through fairs and festivals.
Fervor Of Fairs In Himachal Pradesh
Lavi fair – It is held in Rampur every year in the month of November between 11th and 14th. ‘Pashmina’ wool, dry fruits and several handicraft items are some of the things you can buy at the fair.
Sipi Fair – It begins in the month of May and it is held in Mashobra, a village in Shimla district. The local culture of Himachal Pradesh can be known through this fair. Several games and other activities are organized during the fair to make it more attractive.
Sainj Fair – It has its own religious significance and it is held in Raila on 21st of Baisakh (April-May) for a day. During this fair people bring idol of Devta Laxminarayana from Raila to Sainj. The fair is a major attraction with its folk dances and songs that go hand in hand with the beat of drums and trumpets.
Dhoongri fair – The fair begins with the worship of Goddess Hadimba and is held between May-June on Jaishth 2nd. The fair is held at Dhoongri (Manali) for three days.
Bhadoli Fair – It takes place once in three years as per the dates decided by the Brahmins. It is believed that Lord Parshu Ram meditated in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh where the fair is held for four days.
Phagli Fair – This fair is of massive importance to the people of the Kullu valley. The fair derived its name from the word Phagun, last month of Hindu calendar, coinciding with mid February and mid March. The struggle of dominance between the god and demon is perfectly demonstrated at the fair. In the struggle it is god who ultimately wins.
Minjar fair – The major attraction of this fair includes Natti dances, folk songs and other cultural programs. People in village Dawra begin the fair with the worship of Lord Vishnu and their local deity.
A Look Into Festivals Of Himachal Pradesh
The various festivals celebrated in Himachal Pradesh are rich in culture, tradition and heritage. The religion, rituals, belief are brought forth through the festivals. Folk songs and dances are an indispensable part of any festival.
Shivratri is an important festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm, particularly in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. A fair is held during this time in which people carry beautifully decorated palanquins with all the local deities from one place to another. This is also accompanied by music dance and singing, which is an important aspect of festivals.
Kullu Dussehra is well-known all over the world and it is celebrated with utmost fervor. The celebrations begin on Vijaydashmi and continue for a week.
Besides, other festivals like Lohri, Karwa Chauth and Rakhi have their own charm in Himachal. Bonfire is an important part of the Lohri festival. Married women clad in their best attire offer prayers for the long life of their husband on Karwa Chauth. Sisters tie Rakhi on their brother’s right wrist seeking protection from them and pray for their long life.