Himachal Pradesh is the center of rich traditions, hospitable people and breathtaking beauty of nature. A variety of fairs and festivals are celebrated in Himachal Pradesh. There are about 2000 deities worshiped in Himachal Pradesh. If you choose to plan festive tours of Himachal Pradesh to experience the region’s rich religious culture and colourful traditions, you will never return home disappointed.
The festive season of Himachal Pradesh starts with the arrival of the New Year. New year is celebrated in a unique style at Chail, Shimla, Dalhousie and Manali. Shiskar Apa is the goddess of wealth, worshipped with dancing programs for some days in the January month. Lohri and Maghi are celebrated by making bonfire, folk songs and dancing, in the honour of the last sowing of the Rabi crop. Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday is celebrated at Paonta Sahib of Sirmour. Chhang and lugari are the local liquor that flow freely during this festive time. Since this time is the height of winters, most of the National Snow Statue Competitions are also held at this time.
Gochi is an extraordinary festival that is celebrated to cherish the occasion of the birth of baby boys in the region. At Una, the Baba Barbhag Singh Mela is held in the honour of the sage. The devil dance, symbolizing the victory of good over evil, is celebrated in the Buddhist areas of the state. You must include these amazing experiences in your list of festive tours of Himachal Pradesh.
Char is celebrated around the temple of Trilokinath, at Lahaul. The Shivratri fair is held at this ancient temple for the whole week. The religious ambiance is surcharged with great devotion of pilgrimages. Nalwari is celebrated at Bilaspur, during the third week of March. Holi is a festival of colours, celebrated with the arrival of spring. In Sirmour, the Balasundari fair is held during the Navratra period. Chait is the first month of lunar calendar. It is celebrated with folk dances and singing. A long fair lasting during the March and April months is held at Deothsidh, on the border of Hamirpur and Bilaspur districts. Baisakhi is one of the most important festivals of Himachal Pradesh. It is the last festival of winter season. During this festival, people take holy dips in the waters of Tattapani, and also at Rewalsar and Prashar lakes. Rali festival is celebrated in the April month. It is believed that a beautiful girl, Rali was married to a man she desired, but unfortunately died by drowning in a stream on the way to her husband’s home. Her husband and brother also died, while trying to save her life. Clay models of these three are worshiped on that day. Unmarried girls pray to have life partner of their choice and married women come here to pray for prosperity and happiness of their respective spouses. The simple beauty of these places will enchant you when you come across it during your festive tours of Himachal Pradesh.
The exotic Sipi fair is held near Shimla, which is known for its tradition of matchmaking. River rafting festivals and water sports are also carried throughout the state in the month of May. The Dhoongri fair, the Banjar fair and the Sarhi Jatar are held during the same period. Shimla’s summer festival is a memorable event. A variety of national talents showcase their expertise in the cultural programs, held during this festival.
Haryyali, Rhyali and Dakhrain are some other festivals in the state, celebrated after the arrival of monsoon. Shravana Sankranti of Nahan is famous for its buffalo fights. July month is the best season for traveling and trekking. Chamba is well known for its Minjar fair and Manimahesh Yatra, held in the month of August.
Manimahesh Yatra is held at Chamba, immediately after the festival of Janmashtmi. At the end of monsoon, there are several autumn festivals, which can be easily incorporated in your plans for festive tours of Himachal Pradesh.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/06