Festivals of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is the land of Gods, as it is rich in the Divine places and various pilgrimages like Kedarnath, Badrinath, Haridwar, Hemkunth Sahib and many more. From the Ghats of Ganga to the beautiful hills of Auli, Uttarakhand is full of Nature’s enchanting and relishing charm. Not only nature but Uttarklhand is full of culture and tribes and languages like Hindi, Kumaoni, Garhwali and Jaunsari. The state is also famous for its rich culture, tradition, attire, jewellery and festival.
In this blog we will talk about the festivals of Uttarkhand and the Traditions related to it. Festivals of Uttarakhand is something that enrich the heart and soul of every individual.
Here is a list of famous Festivals of Uttarakhand.
Harela: Uttarakhand is full of ennthusisam about the seasons throughout the year. The festival Hrela is celebrated in the start of the Rainy season to welcome it. Harela is prominent in the Kumaon region of Uttrakhand and people celebrate in the start of ‘Shravana’ (Falls around Mid-July to August). People celebrate it by making idols of Lord Ganesha as Dikars at the start of Rainy season to welcome it and honor the wedding of Lord Shiva and Godess Parvati.
People also sow seeds of multiple grains ten days prior to Harela to take blessings of God for nurturing crops and the day of Harela that plant of Multiple seeds called “Harela” people devote that plant to the God as thankful gesture.
Uttarayani: Uttarayani or Makar Sankranti also known as Ghugtiya in Uttarakhand region celebrated in mid-January. According to the Hindu ancient scriptures, the sun switches from the sign of Cancer to the sign of Capricorn on this day. On this day, people donate Khichdi to charity and dive into the sacred rivers at Ranibagh and Kumaun Bageshwar (Saryu and Gomti Sangam) (Gaula). There are also Uttarayani fairs that attract a lot of attendees to celebrate Ghughutia (also known as Kale Kauva). Additionally, it is a moment to physically savour. Sweetmeats are produced from wheat flour that is shaped into drums, pomegranates, blades, swords, and other shapes before being deep-fried in ghee. Children wear them on the morning of Ghughutia and hang them into a necklace. Songs are often sung to attract crows and other birds towards the Sweetmeats. These disposable jewellery items are then given out to welcome the seasonal birds returning to the fields following the winter months.
Phool Dei: Phool Dei is celebrated in the welcoming of spring season when flowers bloom and the nature is at its most beautiful phase. The Uttarakhand state celebrates the harvest of the year and the arrival of spring with the Phool Dei celebration. The harvest festival, as it occurs on the first day of the Chaitra season (March–April) according to the Hindu calendar. It is at this time that flowers bloom, and this is accompanied by the ceremonial pudding known as dei, which is cooked by the locals using flour, curd, and jaggery or gud. An essential component of the celebration is this meal.
Egaas: Egaas is celebrated 11 days after Diwali Festival in hilly regions of Uttarakhand. It is believed that teh news of Lord Rama’s back from 14 years of exile came to hilly regions 11 days late so they celebrate Diwali after 11 days as Egaas. During this festival, people prepare a variety of delicacies, perform folk dances, and light their houses with candles. Even twirling a rope with a fire lighted at one end, known as a “Bhailo,” is a common way for people to rejoice.
Ghee Sankranti: Ghee Sankranti, a celebration that heralds the start of the harvesting season, expresses the thanks of the community’s farmers by showing their support. It is also referred to as the “Olgia” festival and is observed on August 1st (Bhado), when the crops are prospering and the milk-laden animals are ready for milking. The old custom saw nephews and sons-in-law giving gifts to their maternal uncles and fathers-in-law, respectively, as the celebration progressively evolved through the years. However, the present-day context might be summed up by the fact that farmers and craftspeople pay gifts to their landlords. Axes, ghee, datkhocha (a metallic toothpick), and firewood are typical gifts exchanged. Eating ghee and chapatis loaded with urad dal is a crucial part of this festival’s ceremony!
However, Uttarakhand is the origin to several culture and tradition narrating the story of its richness of beauty and holy beliefs but most of the festivals here revolves around the harvest as farming is an integral part of livelihood in most of the parts of Uttarakhand.
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