Festivals of Himachal Pradesh
festivals are an integral part of the Indian way of life and the
land locked hill state of Himachal Pradesh is no exception to
this. The celebrations range from religious to tribal to
The New Year brings with it the National Snow Statue Competition
at Kufri near Shimla. It is also time for ice-skating in the state
capital. The bonfires of Lohri light up the night sky on January
13 every year. This festival marks the sowing of the Rabi (winter)
Shivratri or the festival to celebrate the marriage of Shiva in
March signifies ritual gaiety at the famous Baijnath shrine. The
cattle fair at Nalwari, Bilaspur is set amidst carnival
atmosphere. Chait Durga Asthami is celebrated in the Shakti
shrines at Hathkoti, Chitpurni, Jwalamukhi and Vajreshwari. Color
and merrymaking mingle on Holi, the festival of colors at the
Gurdwara at Paonta Sahib, Sirmaur.
In April, Chhat celebrations are held in Kullu and Chamba. Paonta
Sahib welcomes Hindu and Sikh devotees on Baisakhi and Navratri
too begins this month. Fairs are held in Chamba, Bilaspur, Kangra
and Rohru village in Shimla district.
Dussehra is one of the most sacred festivals of the Hindu religion
and is celebrated in October. The much talked about Dussehra
celebrations start in Kullu with Navratri. The Pong Dam is the
site of water sports championship held in the same month.
November is time of Diwali, which is celebrated throughout the
state. On the banks of Sutlej, the Lavi fair continues for three
days. At Sirmaur, idols of Parasuram are immersed in the gentle
waters of Renuka Lake.
Shimla has the tradition of celebrating Christmas since the days
of the British Raj. To take part in the festivities, people come
from far off places. But before Christmas, in the second week of
December, the International Himalayan festival is held in