The Himachal government organizes 20 fairs and festivals in the state at present time. These fairs are related to social, religious or educational matters. They organized these fairs for integrating social matters for economic sustenance and survival of culture. They kept at such a time when people are mostly free from household works. These festivals are generally attended by those who wants to carry the legacy and rituals given by their ancestors to future generation. Here, every festival is celebrated in a peaceful way. The fairs give people an opportunity to buy and sell things.
Halda Festival : Welcome New Year
This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Shashikar Apa. It marks the celebration of New Year. Lamas decides the actual date of celebration. The people belong to Lahaul district come together and enjoy the musical performance. They always chose a different site to perform the ritual of burning branches of a cedar tree for bonfire. This is the significance of their unity. It is popular in the valleys of River Bhaga and River Chandra.
The fair starts on second Sunday in the month of August and continues for a week. The meaning of Minjar is Maize flowers and this festival is celebrated at Chowgan in the district of Chamba. The prayers were offered to the God of Rain, Varuna in the form of maize flowers, coconut, fruits, smaller coin or a rupee and some amount of paddy.
Most awaited festival of Himachal is Sazo in which the villagers bid farewell to their deities. In this festival, the doors of the festival remain closed but their wagons remained open. The belief is that the deities were abode to Heaven. The significance is that the showers are done on devotees by God from heaven. Therefore, the tiles of the floors of temples are being cleaned by the villagers and priests to receive God’s blessings.
The culture of Himachal is mirrored into this festival. In this region, it shows the people’s love for dance, lifestyle and music. The festival of Kullu Dussehra is the right place to visit Himachal if one wants to see the colourful state. As Dussehra is celebrated all across the country but it has its own scenic beauty in Kullu. The origin of the fair is not known but in present times it is celebrated to give devotion to the ruler of 10th century.
Himachal Winter Carnival
A winter carnival is organised every year in winter season for promotion of the culture in Himachal Pradesh. This trend is started from the year 1977 and now this carnival is becoming bigger and bigger with the decades going on. Another interesting thing is Beauty Contest of Winter Queen and Mr. carnival. The whole road of Manali looks like a carnival road during this festival. Along with Carnival, tourists have the opportunity to visit Jagatsukh, The Manacle Gompa, Manu Temple, Hadimba Temple and Vashisth Springs.
Lavi Fair – Rampur Bushahr
At Rampur Bhushar the fair is held during month of October or November. In earlier times, Kinnaur and Tibet have good trade relations and this fair is interest to both sides with the purpose of business. Also tribal people and from other areas participate in this fair with pattis, namdas, pashminas, colts, woollens, yaks, apples, dry fruits etc. The fair is continuing from 300 years and it is a state level fair. The trade activities are hectic during day times and during night folk dance and music prevails. The duration of the fair is three days.
In some places, it is famous by the name of Prithvi Puja. The celebration occurs in the middle of the month August or 1st phase of Bhadon, a Hindi month. The duration of this fair is very largest about one month. The festival is known by the name of Bandajo in Kullu and Pathroru in Chamba. There it is celebrated as the festival of flowers. This is an occasion of great celebration especially for those who loves to dance.
In the district of Sirmour, the fair is celebrated for six days in the month of November. After ten days of the Diwali festival, the fair gets started. The story is that Parshuram, youngest son of mother Renuka usually visits her every year. The fair remembers the meeting between Parshutam and Renuka. His avatar is known as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is a state fair presenting magic show, folk dances, fire works, etc.
Rakhidumni – Rakhi Festival – Raksha Bandhan Festival
In the month of monsoon Bhadrapada, this festival is celebrated on the full moon day. The festival acknowledges the emotional bond between brother and sister. In this festival, the sister ties Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers as a symbol of protection. On this day, the prayers are offered for long lives of their brothers. Thus sacred thread remains on their wrist till the Sairi festival. It signifies that brother will continue to protect his sister from all the evils.
Holi Mela Sujanpur – State Fair
In the district of hamirpur, the holi fair is held in the month of march. It is the festival of colours and seven days fair which gives full entertainment, games, dance, songs, dramas are performed. The people of this place come here to participate in the activities.