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Fairs & Festivals

India is a land of myriad festivals, in rhythm with the cycle of the seasons, with sowings and harvesting. and around them have grown legends, most depicting the victory of good over evil. These fairs and festivals lend color and gaiety to life and Indian calendar is marked by plethora of such big and small occasions. Some festivals are of religious nature, others are related more to, change of season and harvesting. They have a long past and many have undergone major modifications. Though the enthusiasm for some also seems to be fading, nevertheless they do bring about a change in the lifestyle of the people. Some festivals and fasts are religion specific protocols aiming towards communication with the divine. The liveliness of the people is reflected in the colorful vibrancy of the fairs and festivals. Processions, prayers, new attires, dance, music etc. are elements related to any such celebration.

The Puri-Rath Yatra, Allahabad-Kumbha, Alleppey-Boat Race, Pushkar-Camel Fair, Goa-Carnival so on and so forth all reflect the diversity of the land and its people but common emotion of revived vigour, joy and sharing.

Vasant beckons spring. Scattered amongst the ripening wheat are the bright yellow flowers of mustard. Tender blossoms appear on the mango tree and 'song is bestowed upon the bird'. On that day everyone wears a special shade of yellow. The festival is dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of learning and the arts.

After about two months comes Holi, the very end of our cool season. It is a festival of colour, truly democratic and egalitarian. All barriers are down, all inhibitions shed. Boys and girls, men and women of all ages, all castes, and all classes participate. None is high and none is low. Anyhow, when a person is plastered with colour he is not easy to identify. On the eve of Holi bonfires are lit and Holi itself is celebrated by the throwing of colour, by gaiety and noise, one could even say, by wild abandon. In time the festival has also become associated with the 'Lila' of Radha and Krishna and has inspired some of our most sensuous poetry.

The people in Himachal love Festivals, and participate in all the local festivals and fairs with great enthusiasm. All the bleak details of their otherwise poverty ridden lives,handicapped by the terrain and its geographical isolation, are forgotten as they proceed, singing and dancing with great abandon, to take part in these community festivities. More........


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