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Fairs of Kumaon

It  is  considered scared  to take a  dip  in local Ganges   (biggest  river in  the   area  is  called Ganges)     daily  or  at    least  on   auspicious occasions       as     Purnimas,    Amawashyas, Ekadashis,  Sankranties  and  so  on  so forth. Besides    taking  dip  one  can  buy  essential commodities  for house hold or peasants and craftsman  can  sell  their  products.   Children   and  women  more   anxiously   await  for  the events.   Fairs  are  also  a  meeting  place  to discuss  matrimonial and other issues.  Govt agencies,  manufacturers  and political parties also    avail    this       opportunity   of       mass communication. These fairs present colorful and rich traditions of Uttaranchal and  carefree attitude  of hill folk  towards life  despite lot of odds and hardships.  Both man  and  women attired in their traditional colorful dresses can be seen singing and  dancing  on the tune of ‘Hruka’, ‘Damua’, ‘Dhol’, ‘Flute’ and Bagpiper.
From time immemorial commercial fairs are held at Joljibi and Bageshwar which are  famous for trade with Tibet in precious  items like  Wool, Musk, Gold, costly medicines etc. Beautifully designed  Shawls,  Carpets,  Tweeds,  Quilts woven    by   locals   of  ‘Johar’  and  ‘Darma’ valleys are still rated among best. Bageshwar fair is also famous for it’s local cane (Ringal) made (multipurpose and a must for farmers) Mats and Iron vessels.
Main Fairs

Name

Location

Month

Remarks

Nandadevi Mela

Almora

Nanital

Ranchula Kote

Munsyari

Ranikhet

Aug-Sep

Celebrated in the honor of Goddess Nanda since 16th centuary. Idol of Nanda and Sunada made of Banana tree stems are decorated, worshiped, carried in procession and finally immersed into rivers. It is a 3-5 days affair during which classical Jagars are also held. Folk artists sing group songs Jhora, Chapali, Choliya  dance with the tune of Hurka, Damua and Bagpipers.

  

Syaldey Bikhoti-Baisakhi

Dwarahat and Thal

April People from far flung villages gather along with their traditional flags in procession dancing and singing on the tune of ethnic instruments. 

Bagwal Mela

Devidhura Aug Celebrated on the full moon night of Srawan Month. The fair is famous for mock battle by throwing stones on opponents.

People are divided in two groups and they through stones on each other. They try to shield themselves by a umbrella made of 'Ringal', a local bamboo. After the war is over on a signal given by the temple priest, both teams hug each other.

Mostamanu Mela Pithoragarh Aug-Sep Mostmanu temple is situated on a hill top. A chariot of the God is carried in procession. Also famous for baskets and wooden vessels made by local materials.
Chaiti Mela Kashipur Mar/Apr Celebrated since ancient times. Worships are offered to Balasundari Devi and her Doli is carried in a procession.
Kartiki Purnima Gananath, Pingnath November Childless couple offer puja at Gananath temple of Shiva and Ganesha. Pingnath is situated above Kausani and one has to climb about 700 steps to reach the hill top. In old times it a last chance (appeal ) for gamblers to win or lose.
Somnath Mela Masi (Chukhutia) Apr/May Held for 7 days from the last Monday of Baisakh. People use to sing folk songs whole night and also a commercial event.
Uttarayani Meela Bageshwar, Rameshwar, Pancheshwar January Also held at Gucher (Chamoli) and Uttarkashi. It may be classified as a commercial fair but at Pancheshwar and Uttarkashi local gods are carried in procession for bath in sacred rivers.

Jiya Rani Ka Mela

Ranibagh (Haldwani)

 

 

 

 

January

 

 

 

 

Held in the memory of Jiya Rani, a queen of Katyuri King Pritam Dev who defeated the mighty Army of  Tamoor Lang in Shivaliks in 1398.