|The rich culture of Kumaon is depicted in it’s fairs and festivals and play an important role in the life cycle. Life in hills is tough and these festivals and fairs are awaited anxiously by all particularly by children and women as these occasions provide them relaxation, shopping opportunities, entertainment and information. Festival season starts on the advent of spring . It is time for flowering of Mustard in the fields and Pine, Rhododendron (Burash) and lot of other wild flowers in the jungle which sets the background for celebrations. In the backdrop of variety of wild flowers, fragrance of pollen grain of Pine in the air and ripen appetizing , juicy and lucid wild fruits of Kafal, Hisalu and Kilmora even birds like Kafuwa, Ghughuti as well as folks cannot resist singing “Kafal Pakoo". The other birds replies in affirmative.|
|Basant Panchami||It is festival of spring and all yellow affair. If not a full dress, at least a yellow handkerchief is provided to each member of family. It is also time for singing of songs in Baithaki (sitting) Holi.|
|Maha Shivratri||People use to fast and take a holy dip in reverence to Lord Shiva and fairs are held at every Shiva Temple.|
|Phool Dai||It is a festival exclusively for children. They tour each house and shower rhododendron and other wild flowers on every beautifully Alpana decorated doors (Daili) with chanting of good wishes for ensuing year. In return the house owner gives sweets and money to children.|
Professional Holi singers are called Huliyar and they sport traditional Kumaoni Cap, Churidar Paijama and Kurta. On last day the Holi procession visits all houses and wish the household long prosperous life and with a assurance to meet next year in the month of Falgun (March).
|Colorful Holi||The culmination of joy and happiness is reflected during Holi which is celebrated with great gaiety for one week. People singing and dancing all around on the tune of Dholak and Majeera is a common sight. Classical Kumaoni Holi of Almora, Nainital, Satrali, Champawat, Dwarahat and Katyur (Bageshwar) is rated best at par with Mathura and Vindravan. Holi is an unique musical affair in Kumaon. It seems that every child, young, old, man, woman is a perfect classical singer. Melodious songs are sung at Baithaki (sitting) Holi, Khari (standing) Holi and Mahila (Ladies) Holi. Each song is based upon some Raga with touch of humor and spirituality.|
|APRIL/MAY/JUNE||Being summer harvesting season it is an interval for festivals. However, on Baisakh Purnima and Ganga Dushera people use to take dip in holy rivers. On Ganga Dushera a Chakra with idol of Ganesha in the middle and Vedic Hymns written around it is pasted atop the door to ward off evil sprits.|
|JULY||Harela||Symbolizes greenness and 7 types of seeds are grown in small baskets and worshiped for a week. Elderly women use to bless by putting these green siblings on the head of youngsters wishing them prosperity and good luck.|
|AUGUST||Ghee Tyar||Held during rainy season when there is plenty of milk and butter Ghee Tyar is celebrated. It is believed that one who does not take Ghee on this day will born as Snail in next birth.|
|Janmashtami||The birth day of lord Krishna and children use to display life and deeds of Krishna in ‘Jhankis’. Elders fast till midnight and offer puja.|
|SEPTEMBER||Nandaashtami||Fairs take place at Almora, Kot Mandir and Nainital. Idol of Goddess Nanda is carried in procession for emersion in nearby rivers.|
|OCTOBER||Dushara||Classical Ram Lilas are conducted for 10 days during Dushera nights at every nook and corner.|
|NOVEMBER||Depawali||The festival of lights is celebrated for 3 days as Laxami Puja, Goverdhan Puja and finally Bagwali .|
|DECEMBER||Due to extreme cold, festivals are also put in cold storages.|
It is the culmination of
festival year on Makar Sankranti. It is
dedicated to children and birds. Fried Cakes are
made in different shape of
birds, animals and flowers
and arranged in garlands.
Next day early in the morning children
use to call crows, ask for blessings and
offer them the cakes. Only after their offerings
are accepted by the crows they may eat the cakes.