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Phulaich Festival, celebrated at Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh, is a festival of flowers.

Phulaich Festival

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'. On 16th day of the Hindu month of 'Bhadrapada', the flowering season of the wild flowers of the upper regions of Kinnaur district, ten Rajputs (belonging to warrior clan) of the village go to the high hills to pick up some of the choicest flowers. They spend that day as well as the next day on the hills only.

Thereafter, they return on the 18th day, with their collection of flowers. It is said that some of these flowers are so fragrant that some of the people who are witnessing the event for the first time feel giddy with their strong scent. Infact, the fragrance is so intoxicating that when the natives visit the forests where these flowers bloom in abundance, even they start feeling giddy. The night on the 18th is spent singing and dancing under the deodar trees. Phulaich Festival of Himachal Pradesh lasts for a week.

The variety and beauty of the wild flowers is the main highlight of the festival. Thus, the return of the village men with them is celebrated as the main day of Phulaich. On the 20th of the month, a procession of the local deity, adorned in fine clothes and surrounded by gold and silver idols of the deities of the surrounding areas, is taken out. The villagers, dressed in their best clothes, dance under the trees on all the days of the festival. On 23rd day of the Bhadrapada, all the other deities are brought back to their original temple and sacrifice of a goat and a lamb is made. With this, the festival comes to an end.