India is a land of celebration. People here rejoice their own festivals and participate in fairs. Uttarakhand is also a land of celebration. The festivals revered here are very colorful and a melting pot of different cultures, religions and people.
The month of November every year hosts the fair of Jauljibi near the convergence of the rivers Kali and Gori. This place also cherishes the blending of three cultures viz. Shauka, Nepali and Kumaoni. The place is the entrance to the places like Johar, Darma, Chaudans and Byans. The fair plays an important role in commercial and cultural significance. Participants from Nepal are also seen here selling horses, Ghee and other goods. On the occasion of Vaishakh Sankranti, an equivalent kind of fair is organized on 14th April; mainly Shaukas are seen visiting this fair in large numbers.
The Uttarayani fair is a significant fair to the cultural and social network of Uttarakhand. This fair is held in more than one place – Bageshwar, Rameshwar, Suit Mahadev, Chitrashila and Hanseshwar. The fair is a the commercial destination for goods like iron and copper pots, baskets, casks, bamboo articles, mats, carpets, blankets, herbs and spices etc. Music and dance festivals are arranged in the night time.
The Nanda Devi fair is organized at many different places in Uttarakhand- Almora, Nainital, Kot, Ranikhet, Bhowali, Kichha and other smaller villages. It is believed that the fair started during the 16th century. The fair exudes the folk culture and heritage of this region. Crowd from far away places gather for these occasions.
Bagwal - The Stone Fight Fair held on Raksha Bandhan at Devidhura in the compound of Maa Varahi temple. This unique fair is very famous for its Bagwal (stone fight). During Bagwal the two Khams (groups) of people throw stones at each other. They have also a big bamboo shields to protect each other. The local villagers are being involve in this activity, they do this to make happy, Maa Varahi.
It is a revered festival for the people of northern India. People practice offering alms to the poor and deprived and take dips in the water of holy rivers. Uttarayani fair is held during this time of the year. People prepare a necklace made out of sweetmeats of flour and jiggery in the form of pomegranates, swords and knives etc. with an orange in the centre. Little children wear these necklace and offers to crows and other birds, portion of their necklaces.
It is the eve of the spring season, it cherished in northern India along with other places. Goddess Saraswati, the deity of knowledge is worshipped on this day to uplift the school going children. Yellow color is used on this day – yellow clothes, yellow flowers, and yellow rice is used on this occasion.
This festival is cherished during the mid of March. It is known as mainly for young girls, they go from house to house to offer blessings and wishes and plates of rice, jiggery, coconut, green leaves and flowers. They are thus favored back by the owners in the form of presents, sweets, money etc.
A few of the other widely celebrated festivals are Harela and Bhaitauli – an important Kumaoni festival, Olgia – celebrated during the time of fields full of harvest, Khatarua – celebrated in terms of victory of King of Kumaon, Bat Savitri – important festival for married ladies who wish for the well being of their spouses, Ganga Dusherra or Dasar – worshipping day of holy river Ganga, people take dip in holy