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Fairs and Festivals in Chamba,Famous Festivals of Chamba India,Chamba Fair and Festivals in India

Posted last July 10, 2010, 8:54 am in Events report article

The Festival Minjar

Ages of rich tradition, warm and hospitable people, a landscape of breathtaking variety and beauty, all are combined together and reflected in variety of fairs, festivals and celebrations. There are some 2000 deities worshipped in Himachal and numerous fairs and festivals are held in their honor.

MINJAR is the most popular fair of Chamba which is attended by a large number of people (40,000 approx daily) from every nook and corner of the district. MINJAR Fair is held on the second Sunday of Shravan month(). International MINJAR festival will be celebrated from July last week to August 1st week this year.

The highlights of the week long MINJAR Festival will be cultural programmes by the cultural troupes from within and outside States, sports in which teams of repute will participate even from neighboring States. Bollywood /Punjabi singer Star Nights & fashion show will also be part of the celebration.

Sport and cultural competitions are held in the evenings. Both national and international artists participate in the Festival. On the last day, a gay procession of Police Band, local singers, traditional drummers, dancers and villagers in their best native costume accompany the palanquins of the gods to their immersion place on the banks of the Ravi.

The fair stretches on for a week and its main highlights are folk singing and dancing. The week long fair begins when the MINJAR flag is hoisted in historical Chowgan. The town of Chamba wears a colorful look with every person turning out in best attire.

Most part of the Chowgan is converted into markets and people to brisk business during this week. Sports and cultural programmes are organized. On the third Sunday the gaiety, colour fulness and enthusiasm reaches its crescendo when the colourful Minjar procession of the deities accompanied by dancing troupes, traditionally attired locals, traditional drum beaters along with Police and Home Guards band, begins its march from Akhand Chandi Mahal for the venue near the Police Lines. A great convergence of people is also witnessed there.

When the procession reaches the place of immersion on the river bank, earlier the Raja and now the Chief Guest throws a coconut, a rupee, a seasonal fruit and a Minjar tied in a red piece of cloth Lohan- as offering to the river.

This is followed by Prayers in Lakshmi-Narain temple. During the week-long celebrations, people wear a silken tassel with stalks of Minjar, the maize plant as a symbol of their prayers for a bountiful harvest.

The week is marked by cultural and musical events. The MINJAR Fair might provide you with the best occasion to experience the native culture of Chamba. The Fair is also the occasion for one of the biggest bazaars in the district and the place to find the best bargains for the famed embroidered rumaals and chappals of Chamba.
 


The first fair was held in the year 936 AD and the tradition has continued unbroken.

There are various beliefs regarding the origin of the festival. Some believe that it is celebrated to worship Varuna, the God of water.

Minjar Festival is also celebrated in the Chamba valley of Himachal Pradesh, as a commemoration of the victory of the Raja of

Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (now known as Kangra), in 935 AD.

It is said that on the return of their victorious king, people greeted him with sherfs of paddy and maize, as gift to symbolize prosperity and happiness The start of fair is announced by distribution of Minjar which is a silk tassel worn on front parts of the dress by men and women alike.

The tassel symbolizes the shoots of paddy and maize which make their appearance around this time of the year..

Minjer Festival is organized in July - August to thank God and ask His blessings for a good yield.

Attraction of the show :-

 Bollywood singer & Music director ?TOSHI? live performance with his band on 28th July

 Fashion Show 27th July

 Laughter show 27th July

 Himachal cultural performances during the entire fest starting from 25th of July to 1st of august 2010

The biggest consumer fete where in somewhere around more than 400 exhibitors take participation and displays over more than 3000 products from 25th to 4th August 2010

 Food festival from 25th to 4th August 2010

The Great Processions
Processions with decorated horses and banners are taken out through the streets to mark the beginning of the fair. In keeping with tradition, all the gods and goddesses are brought out in colourful palanquins to the Chaugan on the banks of the Ravi river.
People float minjaris or the silken strands of maize shoots, from which the festival gets its name.

The colourful gaddis and gujjars (nomadic tribes) seize this seven-day opportunity for some good singing and dancing.
 

Sui Mela

Held for 15 days in the month of Chaitra (March-April), this fair commemorates Sui Mata, a beloved deity of the region. See Sui Mata Temple for the full story of Sui. Women gather to sing, dance and worship the Devi during this festival. The event is an all-women affair ? men are strictly prohibited from participating in the mela. Gaddi women from Bharmaur and other villages participate in the fair as it coincides with their return from the foothills.

Pathroru

A month-long festival of fire and flowers, Pathroru is celebrated in Chamba with much fervour. It?s held in August, the month for the ritual purification of fields to ensure abundant produce. The chira (a structure of wood and earth to which dry grass and flowers are tied) is worshipped in the belief that it will destroy pests that come with the rains. It is also known as prithvi puja (or earth worship).

In Chamba, girls sing and dance to celebrate the festival. The men are not allowed to participate in this. But they do take part in the general feasting. A special dish called Pathroru (green leaves of yam coated with gram flour, rolled and steam baked) is cooked.

Lishoo

Baisakhi is known as Lishoo in the Pangi-Chamba region. Though celebrated in many northern states, this agrarian festival is celebrated differently in different regions of Himachal. In Shimla it is called Bissu. Lishoo is generally held on the first of Baisakh (13th April). It signifies vigour and vitality and serves as a ritual before the onset of the harvesting season. Burning the jhalra ? a pile of dry twigs with a pole bearing a conical bamboo basket erected in the middle ? is an important ritual. It is set afire in the morning as young boys sing and dance around it.

Nawala

Nawala is the ?family celebration? of the gaddis (nomadic tribals of the Chamba region). A lot of feasting and merrymaking is done in the name of Lord Shiva (third of the Hindu Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer). The festival has no fixed day on the calendar but is celebrated whenever the head of the family thinks its time, but it has to be held at least once in a lifetime.