[Himachal GK] Fairs of Himachal Pradesh

There are 20 state level fairs or festivals recognised by the the Government at present in Himachal Pradesh. They have an educational, social as well as religious character. These serve the needs of social integration not only for economic sustenance but also for cultural survival. Generally the fairs are held at such a time when the people are free from their household engagements. Fairs give them an opportunity to purchase and sell needed articles. Traders from far and near join these festivals to display articles like clothes, wool, pashmina, furs, leather, hides and skins, pottery, metal ware, jewellery, ornaments, fruits, vegetables and many other local products coming from the homes and fields of the ruralities.Fairs in Himachal Pradesh have very positive role to play in social life. Himachal is a land of Devi and Devtas - land of gods and most of the fairs are of mythological nature. But to keep on rhythm in various walks of life, fairs have occupied predominant role and aquired varied dimensions, such as trade, agricultural, seasonal and fairs connected with festivals etc. So intensive the fairs have become, that people of all shades and interests participate in large numbers. There is hardly any village where no fair is held. There is almost continuous succession of fairs.


List of Fairs in Himachal Pradesh :

Baisakhi :

This fair is held at various places in the state. People carry village deity with music procession from one place to another. In upper hills, people perform 'Mala Dance' by joining hands to form a large circle. During day time, some games like archery and wrestling are also played.


Minjar Fair ( Chamba ) :

This festival is held in the month of August on second Sunday. It continues for a week. Minjar ( maize flowers) festival is celebrated in district Chamba at a place 'Chowgan' in Chamba town.Maize flowers, a coconut, a rupee or a smaller coin, a fruit and a few paddy tentacles are offered to Varuna, the god of rain. It is a state fair. It is difficult to say, when the fair first started, but the present form of the fair is attributed to Raja Sahil Verman, who ruled the state in the 10th century A.D.


Naina Devi Fair :

This fair is held in the month of August, at Naina Devi Temple, in district Blaspur, which is 8 km. from the Gangul Power House. This is the most delightful fair in district Bilaspur.


Kullu Dushehra :

Kullu Dushehra mirrors Himachal culture in its entirely.. It clearly shows the lefestyle, love of dance and music of the people in this region. To see the colorful Himachal at one place, Kullu Dushehra is the right place. Although Dushehra is celebrated all over the country, but in Kullu, it has its own distinctive glamour. This is a state fair.People from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh throng to enjoy Kullu Dushehra.


Lavi Fair :

This fair is held in the month of October or November every at Rampur Bushahr. In ancient, Tibet and Kinnaur had good trade relations and Lavi fair is the outcome of business interest of both sides. People from other areas in general and tribal belt in particular participate in this fair with horses, mules, pashminas, colts, yaks, chilgoza, namdas, pattis, woollens, raw semi-finished wool and other dry fruits produced in the state are brought for selling. It is three hundred years old fair and also a state fair.4 During day time, hectic trade activities are witnessed all over the town. At night, folks dances and music around small bonfires are organised. It continues for three days.


Chrewal :

It is also known as Prithvi pooja in some places. It is celebrated on the Ist of Bhadon - middle of August. This continues for full one month. The farmers do not yoke oxen during this month. In Kullu, this festival is known as Badranjo. In Chamba, it is called Pathroru. It is a festival of flowers here. This is an occasion of great celebration, particularly for girls who dance on this day.


Renuka Fair :

This fair is celebrated in the month of November for six days in district Sirmaur. It starts ten days after the famous Diwali festival. The legend goes that Parshuram, the youngest son of mother Renuka, used to visit his mother every year. The fair commemorates the annual meeting of Parshuram and Renuka. Parshuram is believed to be the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. One can see the glimpses of hill culture at the fair. Rural people market their produce of walnuts, dried and wet ginger ect. Folk dances, magic show, Kariyala play, thoda dance, wrestling bouts, fire works, police and homeguard's band display, developmental exhibitions, cinema shows and bhajan-kirtan are other attractions of the week long fair. It is a state fair.


Shivratri Fair :

This fair is held in the month of February on Shivratri day in Mandi. Shiva is the chief deity of Himachal Pradesh. This festival is given the greatest importance even in temples all through Himachal Pradesh. This fair continues for a week, with great fun and frolic.On this occasion people bring hundreds of Gods and Goddesses in their Raths. Devotees carry them on shoulders amidst melodious religious songs. People pay their homage to Lord Shiva at famous temple of Bhut Nath in Mandi town. It is a state fair.


Holi Fair :

It is held in the month of March every year. Especially the Holi Mela of Sujanpur in district Hamirpur is very famous. It is the festival of colors. People all over Himachal come to participate in it. A week long fair provides wholesome entertainment through various games, songs, dances, folk dramas and skits performed by local artists/ Business activities are also in full swing throughout the week.


Chintpurni Fair :

It is locally known as Mata-Da-Mela ( fair of mother goddess ). It is held in the village Chintpurni near Bharwain ( a hill station on Hoshiarpur-Kangra road in Una district ). According to one legend a certain Mai Das had the first darshan of the Mother goddess who appeared to him as a girl and asked him to perform the Pooja (worship) of the Pindi (idol) of the mother. Henceforth generation after generation, the mother has promised to ward off the worldly worries and anxieties of those worshipping her. On the 8th day during Navratras the offering of Karahi ( sweet halwa prasad ) and Chhattar are made by the devotees.


The Nalwari Fair :

This fair is held in the month of march every year. The idea of this fair was conceived by W. Goldstein. He was the Superintendent of Shimla Hill States in 1889. The idea was motivated by a shortage of the good breed cattle, especiaaly bullocks. Now this fair has become more a business opportunity event. It is a state fair.


Sissu Fair :

Sissu is a common fair celebrated all over the Buddhist Himalayas. Its main attraction is always a masked dance but because of a part of monastic rituals, it is always staged inside the monastery on the attached courtyard. The fair is celebrated on different dates at different places. At Sissur Gompa it is held in June, at Gemur Gompa in July and at Mani Gompa of Gondhla in August.


Lohri :

In some areas, it is also known as Maghi or Saza. It is celebrated on the Ist of Magh - mid January. People celebrate it more as a continuation of the season of festivals. After finishing agricultural activities, they feast and celebrate and avail themselves of the time to meet their relatives. This festival continues for 8 days. On 8th day, people make get together and show social solidarity. Dance and music goes on for the whole night.


Bharmaur Jatra Fair :

It is held in district Chamba in the month of August. There is a very colorful crowd in this fair.


Chhitrari Jatra Fair :

It is held in district Chamba in the month of September. It is a very famous one day fair and a large number of prople gather in this fair from near and far.


Sui Fair :

It is held in Chamba town in the month of April. This fair is exclusively for women. There is a temple of Naina Devi where women gather and worship the Devi. Naina was the queen of Raja Sahil Verman. This temple has been constructed at a place where she had sacrificed herself to bring water to Chamba town.


Tara Devi Fair :

Durga Devi's temple of Taradevi is located on the ridge of mountain about 8 km. away from Shimla town. The fair is held here on Ashtami in Navratras os Asawin - September or October. This is called Durga Ashtami. A lot of tourists do visit it for its scenic beauty and worship of the famous mother goddess.


Jwalamukhi Fair :

The Jwalamukhi fair is held twice a year during Navratras for worship of Durga goddess. It is the most imporatant fair in the Kangra valley. People come with red silken flags (dhwaja) to greet the Mother Goddess. The fair is attributed to the worship of that Eternal Flame which is coming out of earth spontaneously and perpetually.


Dal Fair :

It is held on the bank of lake Dal, in the month of August in district Kangra at Dharamshala. This area is also ideal for a day picnic.


Nalwari Fair :

It is held in district Kullu at Manali in the month of May. It is a very famous fair and a large number of prople gather in this fair from near and far.


Dungri Fair :

It is held in district Kullu at Manali in the month of May.


Sarshi Jatra Fair :

In district Kullu, at place Naggar in the month of May.


Banjar Fair :

In district Kullu in the month of Mat and June.


Markanda Fair :

In district Bilaspur at place Markanda in the month of April.


Solan Fair :

Solan fair is held in the last week of June for three days. This fair is celebrated even before the present Solan town was founded in honour of the goddess 'Shulini' whose temple is situated in the nearby village named Solan Gaon. It attracts traders, sweetsellers, general merchants and other shopkeepers to make brisk business. The highlight of this fair are dancing, singing and wrestling.


Solan Fair :

Solan fair is held in the last week of June for three days. This fair is celebrated even before the present Solan town was founded in honour of the goddess 'Shulini' whose temple is situated in the nearby village named Solan Gaon. It attracts traders, sweetsellers, general merchants and other shopkeepers to make brisk business. The highlight of this fair are dancing, singing and wrestling.


Sari Fair :

It is held in district Solan at town 'Arki in the month of July. This fair is famous for bull fighting.


Buffalo Fair :

In district Shimla at village Kufri near Mashobra in the month of September.


Sipi Fair :

In district Shimla near Mashobra in the month of May.


Jatar Rohru Fair :

In district Shimla at Rohru town in the month os April.


Rampuri Jatar :

In district Shimla at village Rampuri near Jubbal town in the month of July.


Thalog Fair :

This fair is held in the honour of Devta Rahatna whose temples are located at Thalog and Jabna. It is held at the end of Baishkha, in Prgana Jakholi of Chopal. It is 13 km. away from Chamba. The game archery, numerous sweet shops and Jhula are the main attractions like other fairs.


Trilokpur Fair :

In district Sirmaur at village Trilokpur near Nahan town, in the month of September.


Phul Yatra Fair :

Phul Yatra fair is held in Pangi at Killar in 'Asoj' every year. It denotes the start of a closing season in this snow bound valley. Offerings are made to local goddess, in whose honour it is celebrated. The tribal people enjoy, dance, sing and drink in gay mood forgetting everything else for the time being. In Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti some annuar fairs are held which have left deep impression on the community life of the tribals. One of the main features of these fairs is folk dance. Mask dance and lion dance are also very famous.


Sayar Fair :

It is a famous fair observed in the month of September at a number of places such as Bakloh in Kangra, Karsog in Mandi, and Subathu in Shimla.

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