Jammu and Kashmir is the royal family of India. It is rich in culture and diversity. Although it is known for its Islamic culture, Kashmir also has its fair share of Hindus who celebrate their festivals with joy. Besides celebrating national festivals such as Diwali and Holi, Kashmir also has its own local festivals. These events are carried out by local groups and people are involved regardless of their religious affiliation. Some of these festivals, like the Hemis festival, are considered national holidays to ensure everyone is involved. That’s how important festivals are to bring people together. In this article, we will explore some of the popular festivals in Kashmir.
List of festivals celebrated in Kashmir:
Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the state of Jammu and Kashmir Holi is known as the Festival of Colors. Celebrated every March for two days. The first day begins with fasting and prayer. At night, bonfires are lit to celebrate the victory of good and evil. It also symbolizes the end of the harsh winter. The second day started with people playing with colors and colored water.
2. Lohri Festival:
Lohri is also known as Maghi Festival. This festival is celebrated every year in the state of Jammu and Kashmir sometime in mid-January. The festival commemorates the last day to sow rabi or winter crops. This day usually marks the middle of winter. The festival is celebrated with community bonfires, dancing and folk songs. Chajja dancing is an important part of this festival. Young people prepare chajjas with colored paper and dance to the beat of drums in the streets.
[See Also: Beautiful Places to Visit in Jammu and Kashmir]
3. White Saki Festival:
Baisakhi is a very important festival celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir. It is held on the thirteenth day of April. Baisakhi commemorates the first day of spring or the first “Baisakh” and celebrates the passing of winter. It marks the Sikh New Year. This is mainly a rural festival. This holiday celebrates the sowing of new crops. On this day, people take a dip in the Ganges River. Various village fairs are held, introducing and combining Bhangra dancing, wrestling and archery. This day is an auspicious day for marriage.
4. Sri Ramanawamy:
“Sri Rama Navami” marks the birth of Lord Rama, the king of Ayodhya and the protagonist of the ancient epic “Ramayana”. He is also known as “Kalyanotsavam”. Navami also marked Rama and Sita’s marriage. The festival is celebrated for ten days. Devotees fast and pray to Lord Rama at various temples. Temples are decorated with flowers and Rathyatras are all over town. The religious epic “Ramayana” is spread all over the state. People consider this time to be auspicious and buy new clothes. They decorate their houses with lamps and flowers. “Bhajans” is sung in praise of Lord Rama.
Navratri means nine nights in Hindi. It is celebrated every year in Jammu and Kashmir and is known as the Nine Nights Festival. This festival honors the Mother Goddess or the Divine Shakti or the power of the universe. During this festival, people wear colorful costumes and perform folk dances. Offering to Durga Devi, little girl dressed in Mauli.
[See Also: Top Parks and Sanctuaries in Jammu & Kashmir]
Diwali or Deepavali is known as the Festival of Lights. This festival commemorates the killing of the demon Ravana by King Ram of Ayodhya. When he returned from his victory, the man was greeted with cookies and lights. In Jammu and Kashmir, it is a major festival celebrated with lights, cookies and fireworks. It is celebrated on Amavasya or New Moon Day in the state.
7. Hemis Section:
The Hemis Festival is held at Hemis Gompa, the largest monastery in Kashmir. Celebrating the birthday of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. This festival is held every year in the fifth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. During this festival, the government declares it a national holiday. The highlight of this festival is the “Chaam” dance performed using a lot of musical instruments.
8. Tulip Festival:
Kashmir has some of the best tulip gardens in India. In spring, when hundreds of tulips bloom, Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, celebrates the Tulip Festival. This is when tourism is at its peak after a snowy winter. The Tulip Festival is one of the most visited festivals in Kashmir, attracting many filmmakers who focus on filming many romantic songs without visiting the foreign country.
9. Shikara Festival:
Shikara festival is celebrated at Dal Lake in Srinagar. The festival started in 2016 to promote tourism. Shikaras or boats are beautifully painted and decorated during this festival. There are many competitions between Shikaras such as dragon races, canoe polo matches. The festival takes place from July to August.
[See Also: Unbelievably Beautiful Places To Visit In Kashmir]
10. Sindhu Darshan Festival:
The Sindhu darshan festival is held every year on Guru Purnima day, the day of the full moon. It is held in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The festival was first held in 1997 and is still of equal importance today. This festival honors Sindh and worships her. It is an important festival for all Kashmiri Hindus with great religious significance.
Kashmir can be a place of constant conflict with its neighbors. Although known for its turbulence, this beautiful land never ceases to celebrate the beauty of life. Holidays are times of joy and unity. They bring people together and create strong bonds between them. The purpose of celebrating local festivals in Kashmir is to bring the locals together and stand together as a community. They also attract a lot of tourism, which can bring significant income to the country. Kashmir festivals are symbols of cultural harmony in the state.