Khepa Festival

To the Indian people, fairs and festivals form a very vital part of the everyday life. Therefore, Himachal Pradesh has not remained untouched with this affair. But, fairs and festivals of Himachal Pradesh are different from the rest of the Indian States. This is so because, this is a time for the people of the state to make merry and forget the tough and harsh life that they have to lead. This is the only way life can seem hospitable in the hilly region of the Himachal Pradesh. The fairs and festivals of Himachal Pradesh are generally linked with the trade, season, sports and religion. There is a lot of legend connected with every festival celebrated here. These festivals throw a light into the lifestyle of the local people, their beliefs and religious customs.

Himachal Pradesh is also popularly termed as the “abode of Gods”. This place has a lot of things to offer to the tourists that will create memories forever. Himachal Pradesh will be etched in the mind of the traveller forever. The rich culture and traditions, warm local people, striking landscape complete with the fairs and festivals of this region will be etched in your memories eternally. It is this which draws a huge number of travellers to this place from worldwide each year. This place has been graced with approximately 2000 local deities and the people of the region celebrate festivals to honour these Gods. But this does not mean that all fairs and festivals are only celebrated for religion here.

There are some festivals and fairs that are celebrated for the arrival of a new season, some to encourage winter sports, water sports and some for promoting business of the region. But whatever is the reason for the celebration the only common thing that unites all these festivals together is the passion and participation of the locals. Of all the festivals celebrated Khepa deserves a special mention here. This is an interesting festival as it seeks to drive the evil or demons away from the lives of the local people. This festival is celebrated throughout the region of Himachal Pradesh but excessively in the district of Kinnuar, Himachal Pradesh.

Month of Celebration of The Festival

This festival is celebrated 2 to 3 days prior to the festival of Losar in the eleventh month of the local calendar. When calculated according to the English calendar this festival falls during the month of November or December.

Description About Khepa Festival

The Khepa Festival of Himachal radish is a unique festival. This is celebrated everywhere to drive the evil away from the lives of the people. This is a very popular festival that is celebrated with great fervour. The term “Khepa” means “siddha or tantric guru” in hindi. In Himachal Pradesh, the Khepa or siddha, tantric guru is created out of the flour. On the day of the festivities the local people have to take a bath early in the morning. Then they need to place a thorny shrub, cho or brek ling on the roof top of their houses. Later in the day they prepare “Laffi” out of the turnips. There are other eatable delicacies that are made out of the flour and turnip during the day.

Pulkhepa is also a similar festival which is celebrated around the same time of the year. This festival is also celebrated in the same patterns like the Khepa. The only difference in the celebration is that during Pulkhepa, a goat head, Poltu or some kind of fried bread is required. Later during the day, the goat ears are pricked on the shrub along with poltu and sigre. These things are usually kept in the house or crossroads for 2 days. They are also put indoors sometimes. The horns of the goat are burnt to chase the evil away from the lives of the common people. A lot of different kind of traditional food and delicacies are prepared everywhere and exchanged amongst the neighbours, friends and relatives.

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