Khogal Festival

Himachal Pradesh is set on the western Himalayas. It has been blessed with abundance natural beauty and no one can deny the enchanting scenario. Beautiful flora, delightful fauna, the strong Mountains, the rushing rivers and the tall forests make up the terrain of HimachalPradesh. Where ever you look the picturesque is splendid. Thenatural pleasures can be more addictive than drugs. The sky is clear and you can stand high and view the moon. Since the area under this state is quite large the diversity of the people living here is quite prevalent. Most of the local people are various small hill tribes having a set of culture and tradition of their own. Many festivals are celebrated all across the place. Each has its own color and taste. Since there is diversity then differences in culture are bound to be. The festivals are celebrated throughout the year for one reason or the other. Interesting fact is these have started attracting many tourists who enjoy visiting the fair and being a part of the rituals. Most of these festivals are done to express grace to god and to celebrate the gifts of nature. Amongst these a few stand out which have become a part of Indian culture and are celebrated in areas, other than Himachal. The khogal festival is quite famous not only in Himachal but all over north India. It can also be considered as the most valuable and precious festival of Himachal.

Month of The Festival

Khogal is an auspicious festival. It is a religious celebration. It is said that by creating loud noises or by playing the flute or screaming and also by upholding lights and torches the evil spirits lingering in the area can be shunned away. Khogal is held in the month of January. It takes place on a purnima night or in other words on a fool moon night which occurs somewhere in the middle of the month. Thus, if you want to know exactly how it takes place then its better to go and be a part of it yourself.

About Lahaul And Spiti

This celebration demands unity. Generally male members of the family gather at a predefined location or one particular house where the custom of drinking “chakti”,an exotic drink, takes place. Then the march starts. These people visit each and every house of the village and drink chakti on the way. This march and drinking precession continues till mid night. After this the turn of the “chans” or in other words commonly called drummers, sit on the top of a house or on a roof and play their beats. Flutes are also played to increase the flavor of the music. This is the most prominent part of khogal festival in Himachal Pradesh. As the momentum of the music increases, people lit up torches and start running or marching towards their individual houses while screaming out loud. The playing of the instruments actually initiates the festival. The creaming part denotes the shunning away of the evil. After this activity the traditional dance is performed by collecting all the torches and making up a bonfire of roaring flames. The dance is performed according to the beats of the drums and the flute ornaments the entire process. Generally the village people themselves perform the dance however; at times dancers can be brought from other places too. After the recreational activities and as the fire dies people may way to their individual homes. The rest of the rituals are carried inside the home. Generally deities are worshipped and people offer prayers to the god they believe in and Baraja, the local god, is worshipped with utmost devotion In this festival people also wear the traditional costumes which give a different charm to their personalities. These costumes are now available all over India due to its popularity. Every house prepares delicious foods items and some are kept separate for the purpose of bhog or offering to god.

The colors as seen in these festivals are clearly vibrant and reflectvictory and joy. People generally make merry and at times it appears funny too. However, the enthusiasm with which this festival is celebrated is hard to ignore.

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