Festivals in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is a very proactive state in terms of festival .Many festival are celebrated here , many of which are only celebrated in uttarakhand

Kumaoni Holi

It is the most important festival of kumaon.Kumaoni holi started from chand dynasty in champawat and almora . It signify win of god over devil ( win of prahlad over his father Hiranyakashipu's. Kumaon holi is like a normal holi but it is celebrated throughout the week or more in Uttarakhand.
In most of the day mahila mangal or all women gather together in similar dress up ( mostly with white saare bordered with red ) and go to each house and their they sing holi song ( these are the dedicated song for holi ) . The person who sing this song is knowns as  Holiyars . Its like mini get together where snacks and drinks are made and distributed to all. this continue till last day of holi . The last day of holi is celebrated as Dulhendi holi in which people play holi with gulaal , water , color etc
n rural area khari holi are sung by people . People dance in these song with hodoka, dhol ,damao etc and many people gets high in this festival.

Kumaoni holi has 3 parts –>

Baithaki Holi

Khadi Holi

Mahila Holi

Phool Dei

phool dei is pahari festival that is celebrated by children . Children get up early in the morning to collect flowers from the forest. Then these children will distribute flower in their village. Elder one will give them gur(jaggery) or sweet . It is similar to halloween but there are some difference . Like helloween in celebrated in night where as phool dei is celebrated in morning. In helloween childen dress like devil to scare everyone. In phool dei children dress like children of god with their smiling face and give happiness to the elder one. There are many phool dei song which are sung by children while distributing the flower like – phool dei chamma dei

It signify comming spring season and harvest of year . It is celebrated in chaitra month ( 15 march to 15 april ). It is the time when flowers blossom,

Ghuguti / Makar Sanskranti / Uttarayani

Makar sankranti is one of the most famous festival of uttarakhand. It is celebrated all over in india but in uttarakhand it is celebrated as ghuguti sanskranti or Uttarayani. It signals the shift of summer for the Uttarakhand individuals. Ghuguti and khajur of different shape are made on this ocassion . Children make mala of these sweet which are made from flour and gur . sweets are also given to birds which are migrated from other area . Small children sings song to attract birds.

On this people wash their sin in ganga river. If someone don’t take bath on that day he or she will become donkey in his or her next birth People serve the sun at sunrise on this day and bathe in the seas of the river. Khichdi and til ke laddoo are prepared by local people in other part of india . During this moment, the famous Uttarayani festival also takes position.Most of the people take fast on makar Sanskranti

Khatarua

Khatarua is uttarakhandi festival which is celebrated in kumaon region. It signify the victory of kumaoni king of chand dynasty over the garhwali king khatarua of Ghorkha dynasty . At that period Ghorkha where consider as evil . It is not celebrated in garhwal region . It also a festival of animal too as Cows heps the chand dynasty to win. Special care is given to animal on this day. People share their cucumber with each other.
Villager light bonefire and and dance around it they also put cucumber in fire . Children roam around fire waving colourful flags .

Janopunyu

On this day people who wore janeu change their janeu . Many fair are associated with it like fair in champawat ( Bagwal fair )

Hilljatra

It is festival of farmer of uttarakhand . it is not celebrated in all region but in some part like pithoragarh . this festival comes from the nepal region.
It signify the Ropaai . when king of champawat went to nepal , he explores hilljatra and introduce it to uttarakhand . It is a jat yatra in which people perform agricultural activity in dramatic way and were different kind of mask.

Harela

Harela is festival of uttarakhand which is celebrated in early july . It signify the greeniness of cultivated crop . Harela means hara which means green . In this festival 7 types of seed ( makka , gaihu, bajara, gahat, etc ) are sown for 8 days in puja sthan and they are treated like god for those day on 9th day it is cut ot removed from the soil then part of plant in put behind the ear and head. It also test the quality of seed before sowing the seed in field . Ashirvaad is given by elder to young ones ( ji raya jaag raya baach raya , dub jais fail jaya shaao jais bhudhi hoyi....... which means – have a long life , have a potential to grow like grass and brain like wolf ) . the main moto of this is to pray to god for their crop so that they can harvest well.

Ghee sankranti

This festival is celebrated in august . people put ghee in head in small quantity and distribute ghee to each other