Phulaich Fair

The Phulaich Fair is a unique celebration of monsoon, organised every year in the district of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. The state of Himachal Pradesh is renowned for its festivals and fairs. Every year, thousands of locals as well as tourists gather to celebrate a number of festivals in the wondrous state of Himachal Pradesh. One of these fairs is the Phulaich Fair which is organized in the month of Bhadrapada, according to the Hindu calendar. While Bhadrapada is the month of monsoon according to the Indian calendar system, the Fair itself is associated with the festical of Ukhyang – a unique flower-watching ceremony.

The Phulaich Fair, also alternately referred to as the Fulaich Festival, remembers those who have passed away and celebrates their lives. To commemorate the lives of the deceased, locals celebrate with wine, rice and other varieties of rich food. Offerings of this are made to the local deity of Kupha, Dehant Nag, and following the prayers, these offerings are distributed amongst the locals.

During the festival, the village comes alive with all sorts of lights and sounds and the sensory experience is paramount. With colourful vistas everywhere, the beauty of Himachal Pradesh is apparent during this time. Stalls are set up and locals sell a variety of items, especially designed keeping in mind the tourist populace that visit the valley for the Phulaich Fair.

Month of Celebration of The Festival

The Phulaich Festival is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. The month of Bhadrapada coincides with the month of September in the Roman calendar. The Phulaich Festival is a unique celebration of flowers. In fact, the name Phulaich comes from the Hindi word ‘phool’ or ‘phul’ which means ‘flower.’ It is in honour of the deity of Kupha, Dehant Nag that this festival is organised every year.

The Kinnaur valley of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is blessed with abundant beauty. Upper Kinnaur, where this fair is organised, is rich in fauna and the sheer beauty of the flowers that bloom in the month of Bhadrapada is a real sight to behold. To celebrate this abundant natural beauty, villagers gather and organise this fair. Some rituals are also duly followed in keeping with the rich cultural heritage of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Locals, along with tourists from across the country, celebrate the fair with great fervour every year.

Description About Phulaich Fair

During the month of September, the valley of Kinaur comes alive with all sorts of festivities and the Phulaich Fair is one of the many festivals celebrated in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh every year. The Phulaich Fair is often referred to as the "Ookayand" of 'Ukyam" by the locals. Its local name comes from combining two words - 'Oo' and 'Kayang'. The sound ‘Oo’ of ‘U’ refers to ‘flowers’ and ‘Kayang’ means ‘festival’ or ‘celebration’. Thus, the very name suggests that this is a festival in the honour of abundant local flora, especially the stunning flowers of this region.

The fair begins with a simple ritual: Villagers gather round and climb to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, the villagers look for a specific flower – the Ladra flower. His flower is the highlight of the entire Phulaich Fair. It has a special place in the heart of the locals who venerate this flower for a variety of reasons. Yet another ritual during the Phulaich Fair involved making generous offerings of wine and rice to the local deity. These offerings are then distributed among the poor.

Throughout the fair, one of the major attractions is the generous display of various dance-forms performed by the indigenous populace of this region of Himachal Pradesh. The villagers prepare for months in advance and put on a fantastic show for the general public and tourists to enjoy and partake in. Dances range from quiet and slow dances celebrating the various processes involved in farming to energetic war dances performed with real weapons and depicting scenes from ancient wars – both mythical and historical.

Another one-of-a-kind ritual celebrated along with the Phulaich Fair involves people assembling at one point and then visiting the Dhangaspa family house. They then proceed to garlanding the members of the Dhangaspa family as a mark of respect. All the while, abundant playing of both drums and bugles happens. This is done especially to greet the heroes who climb the mountain to gather the Ladra flowers for the festival.

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