Fairs and Festivals of Himachal Pradesh

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Fairs and Festivals of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is an Indian state that has not been affected by external traditions, especially because of difficult landscapes. But with the passage of time and technological modifications, people have changed them rapidly.

This state of India is the multicultural, multilingual and multi religion region. Kinnauri, Mandeali, Hindi, Pahari, Dogri, Punjabi and Kangri are normally spoken languages in Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh has its certain days and celebrations despite of common festivals and fairs in the country. During these festivals, the people of Himachal are required to wear colorful accessories and dresses in order to tribute their deities and gods. Normally, there are a number of fairs and festivals of Himachal Pradesh that include Shirvratri Fair, Mani Mahesh Chhari Yatra in Chamba, Minjar Fair (Chamba), Lavi Trade Fair (Rampur), Shoolini Mela (Solan), Holi Fair (Sujanpur), Naina Devi Fair (Bilaspur), Renuka Fair (Sirmaur),  Fulaich (Kinnaur Valley), Vrajsehwari Fair and Kullu Dussehra. All these events are famous in upper regions of the state while, in lower region, people celebrate different temple fairs in the Una District like the Chintpurni temple fair, the Mairi Gurudwara fair, the Kamakhya temple fair and Peepli Fair involving yearly state hill festivals in village Polian Purohitan throughout the 4th week of October.

Main Festivals in Himachal Pradesh

The people in Shimla enthusiastically participate in the Competition of National Snow Statue to welcome the New Year. This season is also ideal for ice skating. The beacon of Lohri lights the night sky on every 13th of January. The event also shows that it’s time to plant the Rabi (winter) crops.

A huge number of devotees gather in popular Baijnath Shrine to celebrate the wedding of Lord Shiva which, they called Shivratri. The cattle events are Bilaspur, Nalwari are also organized as carnivals in the state. People in Shakti Shrines at Chintpurni, Vrajeshwari, Hathkoti and Jwalamukhi celebrate Chait Durga Asthami and enjoy the mingling event of Holi, which is organized in Gurudwara at Paonta Sahib.

In the month of April, Chamba and Kullu residents celebrate Chhat festival. During the celebrations on Navaratri and Baisakh, Paonta Sahib hosts Sikhs and Hindus so that the month can be started. These festivals are organized in Kangra, Rohru, Chamba and Bilaspur villages of Shimla District.

In the month of October, devotees celebrate the most holy and sacred place of their culture Dussehra and it is enthusiastically celebrated especially in Kullu with the Navaratri fair. Pong Dam water championship is a famous port which is also organized in this month.

Diwali comes in November bringing lots of blessings and enjoyment for people of Himachal Pradesh. Lavi festival is held at the banks of Sutlej which ends in three days. The idols of Parasuram are put into the flowing water of Renuka Lake at Sirmaur.

A British festival Christmas is also celebrated in Shimla since the rule of British rulers. In order to participate in this festival, visitors also approach this place. But in the second week of December, International Himalayan fair is organized in Dharmshala.


Apart from Shivratri and Holi festivals that bring along a lot of funfair and colorful fairs, people of HP celebrate more such vibrant festivals.

Tourists can visit this state of India at any time of the year to immerse themselves in the rich festivities, to mingle with the cultural crowd, and to have a frolic time with the folks here.

Doongri Festival

The “Valley of Gods”, Kullu, celebrates Doongri Festival in May. It features a colorful fair held near the famous Hadimba Temple, about 1.5 kms from Manali’s bus stand. The fair is also called Hadimba Devi Fair.

The festival marks the beginning of spring. The entire valley is dotted with colorful blooms. Freshness, aroma, and vibrancy of flowers all around the valley gives one of the most blissful times of their lives to tourists here. To add to the color and fun are small kites that fly high in sky, marking the arrival of this pleasant season. This welcoming of the Spring is also called “Basant Panchami.”

Baisakhi Festival

Fairs are organized at various places in HP to celebrate this festival. People carry their village deities in processions. In upper hills of the state, people do the “Mala Dance” by forming a large circle. The fair also features games like wrestling and archery.

Kullu Dussehra Festival

This festival purely reflects the state’s culture. Tourists can have a glimpse of the lifestyle and the love of music and dance of people here. Visitors who wish to see the “true colors” of Himachal must participate in Kullu’s unique Dussehra Festival. People from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh come here to dip in the flamboyance of this festival.


Lohri is also called Saza or Maghi at some places. The festival is celebrated in mid January (1st of Magh). People complete their agricultural activities and feast and have fun on this day. They organize huge family get-togethers. The festival lasts 8 days. On the last day, families gather around a bonfire and have fun almost the whole night. The festival is marked with songs and dance.


This festival is also called “PrithviPooja.” It is celebrated in mid August (1st of Bhadon). This is a month long festival during which farmers do not yoke oxen. The festival is called Badranjo in Kullu and Pathroru in Chamba, where it is a festival of flowers. This festival is fun time for girls who dance and celebrate on the first day.

Minjar Fair of Festival

This week-long festival begins on the second Sunday of August. Minjar is second name for Maize flowers. People offer Maize flowers, a fruit, a coconut, a few paddy tentacles and a ruppe to the God of Rain, Varuna. The festival is celebrated in Chowgan in Chamba town.

Phul Yatra Fair or Festival

This is an auspicious festival celebrated in Kinnaur Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The festival marks the beginning of the closing season of snow-capped valley. One of the most attractive fairs is organized to celebrate this festival. As the name suggests, the fair is characterized by its flower-watching event. The fair is also called “Fullaich.”

The festival begins before the arrival of winter in the month of Bhadrapada. The festival honors people who passed away in the valley. Tribal people sing and dance; they have fun and drink in merry. Lion dance and mask dance are two big attractions of this festival. People collect the lovely Ladra flowers and offer them to their deceased family members. There is a lot of beating of drums to cheer up people who climb hills to collect flowers.

This festival attracts both local and global tourists. It is a memorable event for the tribals here. The tribal community showcases its old weapons during the fair, besides selling local products like traditional sweets, colorful clothes, utensils, crockery, handicrafts, pottery, and more.

Summer Festival

It is held in Shimla in May every year. It marks cultural function. Local people, school children, and famous personalities come here to perform. This festival is organized since 1960. It is a global event organized at the Ridge of Shimla. Last year, in 2013, the festival also organized Miss Shimla Pageant. This summer carnival held in the “Queen of Hills” (Shimla) displays the grandeur culture of this state. Visitors can relish Himachali cuisines and soak their senses in the cultural talent, handicraft shows, star concerts, fashion shows, flower shows, dog shows, and lots of other interesting activities.

Ice Skating Festival

This festival is held in Shimla annually. Do you know Shimla is the only place in the whole of Asia that features a natural ice-skating rink? This sport starts in early December and continues till February. This festival attracts skaters from all over India and outside.

In every nook and corner of Himachal Pradesh you would find a festival or fair taking place. The only way to get a complete picture of the state’s cultural heritage is to come here and experience it.


Main Fairs in Himachal Pradesh

Right now, there are around twenty Himachal Pradesh level festivals or fairs registered under the federal government. All these festivals are not only important from economic point of view but they are also important for traditional survival.

Phagli is a festival organized during the period of Phagun i.e. from February to march and thus, it was named Phagli. This festival is particularly celebrated to show the supremacy of god over demon so as to declare him the most respectful personality. This fair is held to memorize the important happening of killing the devil by god. Phagli is particularly celebrated in Soil, Halan, Jana and Malana and in a number of temples in Jamlu.

During the celebrations in March/April of Chaitra Navratra and Ashiwin Navratra that is held in September/October, lots of devotees visit the temples of Chintpurni Devi, Chamunda Devi, Jwala Devi, Shaktipeeths Sri Naina Devi and Bajreshwari Devi to get the blessings of deity Durga.

People of Trilokpur celebrate Bala Sundri festival two times every year, normally in April and October located close to Nahan in the Sirmaur District. This fair is the most attractive factor of Trilokpur Temple which is established to worship deity Bala Sundari. Lots of devotees from all over the state visit this place to show their love and affection for the goddess.

Naina Devi temple celebrates the Naina Devi festival in August to obtain blessings of the goddess.


The Government of Himachal Pradesh (HP) has recognized 20 state level fairs presently. They possess social, educational, and religious value. The culture of HP thrives through these fairs. Most of the fairs are connected to festivals celebrated here. The interesting thing to note is that people from all walks of life actively participate in them.

Traders from all over display their products like furs, pashmina, wool, clothes, hides and skins, jewelry, metal ware, pottery, fruits and vegetables, and more. Fairs here play a significant social role. Moreover, HP is known for its “Devis” and “Devtas”, so most fairs are related to mythologies.

Fairs in this state also touch various life aspects, such as agricultural fairs, trade fairs, seasonal fairs and more. There is hardly a village in HP that does not organize a fair. It is an integral part of lives of people here.Fairs and Festivals of Himachal Pradesh

Most famous fairs of Himachal Pradesh are:

Shivratri Fair

Held in February in Mandi, it lasts a week and is a state fair. Lord Shiva is the main deity of HP. The famous Bhootnath temple in Mandi town becomes the focus of attraction, as people flock here with their Gods in “Raths”. The whole town immerses in the “Godly” affair.

Holi Fair

“Holi Mela” held in March in Sujanpur (district Hamirpur) is famous. It offers complete recreation through songs, dances, games, folk dramas and more. The fair is a platform for businesspeople.

Chessu Fair

Chessu Fair or Tsechu Fair is a ceremony of the Buddhists. It is held in Rewalsar town of Mandi district in March. The fair sees swarms of Buddhists from India and outside the Rewalsar Lake to memorialize the birth anniversary of Guru Padma Sambhava. He meditated on the banks of this lake for years. He is also known as “second Buddha.”

Lavi Fair

It is held in Rampur Bushahr in October or November every year. It signifies the ancient trade connections between Kinnaur and Tibet. People from the tribal belt and others participate in this fair with yaks, mules, horses, pashminas, chilgoza, pattis, woolens, dry fruits, semi-finished wool and more. This is a 300-year-old state fair that creates a hustle-bustle in town. It features dance, music, folklore and bonfires. It lasts 3 days.

Renuka Fair

It is a 6-day state fair held in November in district Sirmaur. The fair begins 10 days after Diwali. It symbolizes the annual meeting of Parshuram, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, with his mother Renuka. Tourists can see the hill culture of HP in this fair. Rural folk come here to sell their wet and dry ginger, walnuts, and more. The fair features magic show, cinema shows, folk dances, Thoda dance, Kariyala play, wrestling bouts, band display of police and homeguard, fireworks, exhibitions, “bhajan-kirtan” and more.

Chintpurni Fair

This fair is locally called “Mata-Da-Mela” or Fair of Mother Goddess. As the legend goes, a certain Mai Das had a “darshan” of Mother Goddess, who came disguised as a girl. She asked him to conduct a prayer of the mother’s idol. Since then, the mother is worshipped throughout generations. It is believed that Shewards off worries and tensions from lives of people who worship her. The fair is held in Chintpurni village near a hill station called Bharwain on Hoshiarpur-Kangra road. On the 8th day of Navratras, devotees offer “Karahi,” which is a sweet “halwa Prasad,” and Chhattar to the Goddess.

Other Fairs

Naina Devi Fair

A frolic fair of Bilaspur district is held in August at Naina Devi Temple.

Nalwari Fair

A business fair held in March in Shimla every year.

Sissu Fair

A fair of the Buddhist Himalayas, famous for its masked dance that takes place inside the monastery.

Jwalamukhi fair

An important fair of Kangra Valley held to worship the Eternal Flame that comes out of the earth. The fair is organized twice a year during Navratras. It features devotees with red silken flags to worship Goddess Durga.

Sui Fair

A fair exclusively for women is held in April in Chamba town. Legend says that Queen Naina sacrificed her life to bring water to this town. Since then, she is worshipped as Naina Devi and a fair is held to commemorate her sacrifice and to worship her.

Tara Devi Fair

Held at Durga Devi Temple located on mountain ridge, some 8 kms from Shimla, on Ashtami.

Other equally popular fairs of Himachal Pradesh include: Dal Fair in Dharamsala, Dungri Fair in Manali, Sarshi Jatra Fair and Banjar Fair in district Kullu, Markanda Fair in Bilaspur district, Solan Fair in Solan, Sari Fair in Arki town of Solan, Buffalo Fair in Kufri village of Shimla, Sipi Fair, Bhoj Fair and Bharara Fair all in Shimla and more.

Himachal Pradesh promises to soak you in the richness of its culture, Gods, and fascinating local products.

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