The people of Himachal Pradesh love to feast, dance and celebrate everyday of their lives. The numerous fairs and festivals of the state and their elaborate rituals and traditions provide them the perfect opportunities to do so. The customs, costumes, music and dances of these festivals tell us much about the religious fervor, spirituality and gaiety of its natives. Some of the major festivals of Himachal Pradesh include Lohri or Maghi Festival, Losar Festival, Halda Festival, Basant Panchami, Dusshera, etc.
Halda Festival is celebrated in the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh
to usher in the New Year. The festival falls in the month of January and
stretches on for a period of two days. It is dedicated to 'Shashikar
Apa', the Goddess of Wealth in the Lamaistic Pantheon.
International Himalayan Festival is celebrated in the Kangra District
of Himachal, in the month of December. The festival is organized as a
commemoration of the event when the Nobel Peace prize was awarded to His
Holiness The Dalai Lama in 1985.
Losar is the New Year festival of Tibetans, celebrated mainly in the
Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh. It marks the beginning of the
winter season in the valley and is celebrated during the first month of
Tibetan calendar, which usually falls somewhere around mid-November to
first week of December.
Phulaich Festival is celebrated in the month of September in the
Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as Ookayand
Festival and Ukyam Festival. The term 'Oo' means 'flowers' while
'Kayang' means 'festival'. Thus, Phulaich is a 'festival of flowers'.
People from the plains of Northern India rush to Himachal Pradesh in
summers, to escape the heat of the harsh sun. It is during this time
that a variety of programs, cultural and folk performances and tourism
fairs are organized by the Government of Himachal Pradesh.