Since the people of Uttarakhand belong to diverse ethnic, cultural and religious background, the festivals celebrated here are also distinct and have a blend of all the beautiful cultures. People here belong to the hills and mountains and are lovingly referred as “pahaari”. This is one of the major reasons that their festivals reflect their deep roots in folk arts, culture as well as traditions and mainly belong to land and soil.
Festivals like Ganga Dussehra, Basant Panchami, Harela, Bhitauli, Kumaon Holi, Makar sankranti, Phool die, Khatarua, Kandali, Chhipla jaat are celebrated by the people of Uttarakhand with love, joy and enthusiasm. These festivals help promote the bonding between the people and keep love and warmth midst the people intact.
Talking about some festivals like Kandali and Chhipla jaat, it would be interesting to know the importance these festivals hold for the people of Uttarakhand. Kandali is a festival where people celebrate the blooming of the beautiful kandali plant. The special significance of this festival lies in the fact that it is celebrated once in every twelve years because the kandali plant flowers once in very twelve years mostly in the month of August or October. Another festival, Chhipla jaat is more like a spiritual journey where people walk barefoot to Chhipla kedar in search of solace, peace and faith. It is basically a five day journey which is taken once in every three years.
Apart from these festivals, some of the other festivals from the rich heritage of Uttrakhand have been described below. Let’s dive into the spirituality of these festivals and have a look on these celebrations.
- Basant Panchami – The name of the festival itself says it all. The arrival of Basant which means the season of spring marks the celebration of Basant panchami. It is a festival of flowers which comes along with this beautiful season of spring.
- Harela – People of Uttarakhand love to welcome every season with a festival. People of Kumaoni tribe of Uttarakhand are no different and welcome the rainy season by celebrating the Kumaoni festival called Harela.
- Ganga Dussehara – The Ganga dussehra is celebrated with lots of zeal in Uttarakhand. This festival mark its beginning according to the Hindu calendar on the tenth day of Jaishtha which basically falls in the month of May June.
- Makar Sankranti – This festival is celebrated throughout India with equal zeal and passion and people of Uttarakhand also make sure to celebrate it with enthusiasm. This is the time when the people of mountains who have deep roots in land and soil celebrate with Mother Nature the festival of harvest.
- Phool die – This festival also marks the dawn of the spring season where young girls of the locality go to various houses with coconut, jaggery, and flowers and convey the family with blessings of prosperity. In return, these girls are also given blessings and gifts. The melodious songs of spring can also be heard singing by the local people during this festival.
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Contributed By: Sheerin Naz