‘DevBhoomi’- Uttarakhand is a place full of nature’s majestic power. The holy city invites visitors to experience the state’s exquisite beauty and to immerse themselves in the Uttrakhandi way of life for a while. The Himalayas, holy temples, and people’s beliefs are all linked to enhancing the state’s magnificent beauty. The people here celebrate many of their own festivals with great zeal and vigor. In Uttarakhand, people speak various languages such as Hindi, Bhotia, Garhwali, Kumauni, etc. They wear various traditional dresses and celebrate various festivals.
List Of All The Famous Festivals Of Uttarakhand
Here are some of the great festivals of Uttarakhand which are performed with dedication and enthusiasm.
The Grand Kumbh Mela at Haridwar
The Kumbh Mela is an auspicious festival held every 12 years in four cities – Prayagraj, Ujjain, Nasik, and Haridwar. Haridwar is located in the Indian state of Uttrakhand. The Kumbh Mela is a religious festival held on the banks of the Ganga at Har ki Pauri Ghat. The mythological story behind the Kumbh festival is that while Lord Vishnu was taking the Amrit (elixir) to a safe place, four drops fell at four different locations where the Kumbh Mela is now celebrated. During the Kumbh Mela, the city is overrun with people. Kumbh is one of the famous festivals celebrated in Uttarakhand.
Basant Panchami is a festival that celebrates the arrival of the Basant, or spring season. It is a major festival in Uttarakhand. This festival commemorates the end of winter, a season of death and degeneration, and is held in the months of Magh or January/February. The traditional dress is yellow, and they perform Chounphula and Jhumelia dances as well as fly kites. They honor Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, prosperity, and the land. Almost every home makes delicious rice and wears new clothes and celebrates with each other with immense love.
The Bikhoti festival is also known as the Hindu New Year’s festival Vishuvat Sankranti. In the Uttarakhand region, this festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. This festival commemorates the arrival of the spring season, and it is believed that if it rains on the day of the festival, all plants and crops will be disease-free, and the next harvest will be more fruitful. This festival takes place on the first day of the Vaishakh month, which marks the start of the Hindu new year, which falls between April and May. This festival is held in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
Phool Dei Festival
Phool Dei, also known as the harvest festival of Uttarakhand, is an auspicious folk festival that ushers in the spring season in the state. The festival is held on the first day of Chaitra, the Hindu month. Young girls are the most enthusiastic about attending the festival as they pluck flowers and decorate them at their house entrance. Flowers and springtime are central to Phool Dei. In some places, the festival is known as a carnival, and the festivities last for a month. The term ‘Dei’ refers to a ceremonial pudding made from jaggery that is the main food in this festival. Everyone is also given white flour and curd. Phool Dei is one of the main festivals of Uttarakhand.
Harela Festival Uttarakhand
Harela is a Hindu festival held during the month of July. This festival is known as the Day of Green and is usually held during the monsoon season. Harela is celebrated in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region as well as in parts of Himachal Pradesh. This festival is generally celebrated three times a year, on the occasions of Chaitra Navratri, Sharad Navratri, and Shravan Harela. This is the exact day when the farmers in this region begin the sowing cycle. This festival is observed in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in order to ensure a good harvest.
On this day, the people of this region make a clay idol of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and then celebrate their marriage. On the Harela festival, an offering to God is made from seeds planted in their place of worship.
International Yoga Festival
Rishikesh hosts the world’s largest international Yoga festival. This international festival attracts visitors from all over the world. The Uttarakhand Yoga Festival is held at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. During this festival, yoga, as well as much Indian stress management and health sciences, are taught. This one-week festival also features bhajan and kirtan going around the premises, satvik bhojan, Ganga Arti, Satsang, cultural song and dance performances, and campfires. This grand Uttarakhand festival takes place in the month of March, and many people from different parts of India come and join this festival with great enthusiasm.
The Uttarayani Fair is held annually in the second week of January to commemorate Makar Sankranti, the divine celebration of the Hindu calendar. It is held in a number of locations in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region, including Bageshwar, Ranibagh, and Hanseswari, with Bageshwar being the most important. The week-long fair is held on the spiritual Bagnath Temple grounds in Bageshwar, on the banks of the river Saryu. Taking a dip in the river during the Mela is considered auspicious because the sun is said to move from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere.
Pithoragarh celebrates Hilljatra, the pastoralist and agriculturalists’ festival. It is observed by some Kumaon residents and consists of three stages: goat sacrifice, drama, and folk song performances. The Uttarakhand festival was initially celebrated in West Nepal, but King Kuru of the Chand Dynasty brought it to Pithoragarh after sacrificing a buffalo with horns in Sorar, West Nepal. As a result, the Uttarakhand Hilljatra festival was introduced here. During this festival, a deer dressed in white is worshipped as a regional God. The celebration continues all night. This festival is also known as ‘Hiran Chital’ in the Kanalichhina and Askot regions, with some variations.
Ganga Dussehra is a festival held in the state of Uttarakhand during the months of May and June. The river Ganga is worshipped for ten days during this festival. According to mythology, these are the days when the holy river Ganga descended from heaven to earth. The festival begins the day after Amavasya night and concludes on Dashmi Tithi. Ganga aarti is performed at several sacred Ghats in Haridwar and Rishikesh. On this occasion, many people take a bath in the holy river Ganga to purify their souls. In the evening, Aarti organ lamps are immersed in the water that floats over the river, and devotees sing melodious spiritual songs.
Nanda Devi Yatra
Chamoli, Nauti, Mussoorie, Dandidhara, Almora, Bageshwar, Ranikhet, Kichha, Nainital, Bhowali, and Kot all host this five-to-seven-day fair. Huge crowds gather here to make offerings to the Nanda Devi Temple and participate in the fair. During this fair, visitors can learn about the Kumaon region’s culture and way of life. This Uttarakhandi festival features markets of locally made crafts and art. Folk songs and dances are heard throughout the venue. During this fair, students from schools and colleges also perform various activities. On the final day of the fair, devotees immerse the idols of Nanda and Sunanda Devi in water.
So, these are some of the top festivals of Uttarakhand, we hope you enjoy the blog; let us know in the comment section which festival you like and why.