The Government of Himachal Pradesh (HP) has recognized 20 state level fairs presently. They possess social, educational, and religious value. The culture of HP thrives through these fairs. Most of the fairs are connected to festivals celebrated here. The interesting thing to note is that people from all walks of life actively participate in them.

Traders from all over display their products like furs, pashmina, wool, clothes, hides and skins, jewelry, metal ware, pottery, fruits and vegetables, and more. Fairs here play a significant social role. Moreover, HP is known for its “Devis” and “Devtas”, so most fairs are related to mythologies.

Fairs in this state also touch various life aspects, such as agricultural fairs, trade fairs, seasonal fairs and more. There is hardly a village in HP that does not organize a fair. It is an integral part of lives of people here.

Some of the most talked about fairs of Himachal Pradesh are:

Shivratri Fair

Held in February in Mandi, it lasts a week and is a state fair. Lord Shiva is the main deity of HP. The famous Bhootnath temple in Mandi town becomes the focus of attraction, as people flock here with their Gods in “Raths”. The whole town immerses in the “Godly” affair.

Holi Fair

“Holi Mela” held in March in Sujanpur (district Hamirpur) is famous. It offers complete recreation through songs, dances, games, folk dramas and more. The fair is a platform for businesspeople.

Chessu Fair

Chessu Fair or Tsechu Fair is a ceremony of the Buddhists. It is held in Rewalsar town of Mandi district in March. The fair sees swarms of Buddhists from India and outside the Rewalsar Lake to memorialize the birth anniversary of Guru Padma Sambhava. He meditated on the banks of this lake for years. He is also known as “second Buddha.”

Lavi Fair

It is held in Rampur Bushahr in October or November every year. It signifies the ancient trade connections between Kinnaur and Tibet. People from the tribal belt and others participate in this fair with yaks, mules, horses, pashminas, chilgoza, pattis, woolens, dry fruits, semi-finished wool and more. This is a 300-year-old state fair that creates a hustle-bustle in town. It features dance, music, folklore and bonfires. It lasts 3 days.

Renuka Fair

It is a 6-day state fair held in November in district Sirmaur. The fair begins 10 days after Diwali. It symbolizes the annual meeting of Parshuram, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, with his mother Renuka. Tourists can see the hill culture of HP in this fair. Rural folk come here to sell their wet and dry ginger, walnuts, and more. The fair features magic show, cinema shows, folk dances, Thoda dance, Kariyala play, wrestling bouts, band display of police and homeguard, fireworks, exhibitions, “bhajan-kirtan” and more.

Chintpurni Fair

This fair is locally called “Mata-Da-Mela” or Fair of Mother Goddess. As the legend goes, a certain Mai Das had a “darshan” of Mother Goddess, who came disguised as a girl. She asked him to conduct a prayer of the mother’s idol. Since then, the mother is worshipped throughout generations. It is believed that Shewards off worries and tensions from lives of people who worship her. The fair is held in Chintpurni village near a hill station called Bharwain on Hoshiarpur-Kangra road. On the 8th day of Navratras, devotees offer “Karahi,” which is a sweet “halwa Prasad,” and Chhattar to the Goddess.

Other Fairs

Naina Devi Fair

A frolic fair of Bilaspur district is held in August at Naina Devi Temple.

Nalwari Fair

A business fair held in March in Shimla every year.

Sissu Fair

A fair of the Buddhist Himalayas, famous for its masked dance that takes place inside the monastery.

Jwalamukhi fair

An important fair of Kangra Valley held to worship the Eternal Flame that comes out of the earth. The fair is organized twice a year during Navratras. It features devotees with red silken flags to worship Goddess Durga.

Sui Fair

A fair exclusively for women is held in April in Chamba town. Legend says that Queen Naina sacrificed her life to bring water to this town. Since then, she is worshipped as Naina Devi and a fair is held to commemorate her sacrifice and to worship her.

Tara Devi Fair

Held at Durga Devi Temple located on mountain ridge, some 8 kms from Shimla, on Ashtami.

Other equally popular fairs of Himachal Pradesh include: Dal Fair in Dharamsala, Dungri Fair in Manali, Sarshi Jatra Fair and Banjar Fair in district Kullu, Markanda Fair in Bilaspur district, Solan Fair in Solan, Sari Fair in Arki town of Solan, Buffalo Fair in Kufri village of Shimla, Sipi Fair, Bhoj Fair and Bharara Fair all in Shimla and more.

Himachal Pradesh promises to soak you in the richness of its culture, Gods, and fascinating local products.

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