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CULTURE - Fair and Festival of Jammu and Kashmir

Culture - Fair and Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir is best known as Paradise on Earth for their beauty but the Festivals add an extr
Culture - Fair and Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir

Culture - Fair and Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir 

Jammu and Kashmir is best known as Paradise on Earth for their beauty but the Festivals add an extra  flavour to increase its beauty.  In the occasion of Festivals peaple leave their exist tentions and celeberate celeberate the festical togather in order to maintain peace. These Festivals defines the beauty of holy land of Jammu and Kashmir UT. In the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, there is different Festivals in the two divisions of UT. 

List of Festivals in Jammu Division of J&K UT

  Lohri Festival
  Baisakhi Festival
  Bahu Mela Festival
  Jhiri Mela Festival 
  Purmandal Mela Festival
  Food and Craft Mela Festival
  Chaitre Chaudash Festival
  Mela Patt Festival
  Holi Festival
  Navratri Festival
  Dussehra Festival
  Diwali Festival 

Lohri Festival 

Lohri Festival is celebrated every year after the end of winter after the hervesting of Robi and Sugarcane crops on 13th of January. It is celebrated by developing a bonfire and people are going to dance around it and people also dance on this festival on drum beats. There are variety of things are distributed like Gur, Rewri, Peanuts and Popcorn among the people celebrating the festival.

This is one of the famous festival in Jammu. Lohri festival is also called Makar Sankarnti. Chajja a  special type of dance is performed on this festival by boys. These boys wear elaborately decorated chajjas with colored paper and flowers move on the street in a dancing processio.

Baisakhi Festival 

Baisakhi Festival is also one of the famous festival in Jammu Division celebrated on 13th or 14th April. The word Baisakhi is the month of a year according to Vikram Calendar. The people of jammu celebrating Baisakhi every year on the first day of Vaishakh. Baisakhi is also known as Harvest Festival and is considered best month for marriage.

The people of Jammu are going to Nagbani Temple for witness a grand new year celebration. A numerous fairs are organized in which thousands of people are come to watch famous bhangra dance and celebrate the beginning of a new year.

For the Sikhs of Jammu, Baisakhi is the day when their tenth Guru Gobind singh formed the khalsa sect in the year 1699. For that reason the Gurudwaras are full of peoples that came from different locations to listen to kirtans and also prayer also feast on the parsad from the common Langer.

Bahu Mela Festival 

Bahu Mela Festival is celebrated every year twice from March - April and September - October in 5000 years old Bahu Fort at the Kali Temple which is loacted 5km from the main city of Jammu. During the Bahu Mela Festival the people of Jammu offer prayer at Kali Temple and take a secret dip in the Tawi Raver and enjoy a variety of joy rides.

Jhiri Mela Festival 

Jhiri Mela Festival is celebrated every year in the village of Jhiri which is about 14km away from the Jammu. It is celebrated to remember a memory of  honest farmer Baba Jitu who was simple and God-loving person who suicide becouse of protest against the unfair demands of the cruel landlord regarding his crop. His followers remember him for his compassion, courage and honesty so an annual fair is held in his honor in the month of October or November  at north India.

Purmandal Mela Festival

Purmandal Mela Festival is the celebration of Lord Shiva and Godness Parvati celebrated on the occasion of Shivaratri. It is the three day festival organised at a place located abour 39km from the main Jammu city. During this festival people are  wear well dress and seek blessings at the temple. Large numbers of people are seen at Rambireshwar Temple, Panjbharkar Temple and Peer Khoh for prayer at these temples.

Food and Craft Mela Festival 

Food and Craft Mela Festival is organized during Baisakhi at Mansar Lake by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism. The time duration of fair is three day in which large amounts of people visit this festival for the unique arts, special handicrafts and cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chaitre Chaudash Festival 

Chaitre Chaudash Festival is celebrated every year during the month of March - April at Uttar Behni is a place about 25kms from Jammu. Uttar Behni gets its name from Denak Rivir which is also locally called Gupta Ganga that flows at the place in northely direction.

Mela Patt Festival 

Mela Patt Festival is the famous festival of Bhaderwah celebrated in daytime at Khakhal is a place in town of Bhaderwah. Mela Patt Festival is celebrated every year on the fifth day of Kailash Yatra which is the day of Vinayat Chuturthi or Patharchoth to celebrate the meeting between King Akber and Raja Nagpal of Bhaderwah.

Holi Festival

Holi Festival is the oldest hindu festival signifies the victory of a good over evil. It is only celebrated not only jammu and Kashmir but also in whole india. It is also called festival of spring, festival of colours and festival of love. The Holi is celebrated end end of winter season, arrival of spring and blossoming of love. On the Holi festival people of whole india forgives each and repair old relationships. It is the one day and one night festival starts on the month of the Phalguna according to hindu calendar which falls around middle of march in the Gregorian Calendar. The whole holi is Classified as first evening called Chola Holi or Holika Dahan and the fallowing days as Holi, Rangwani Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Phagwah.

Navratri Festival

Navratri Festival, a very important Hindu festival, lasts for nine nights and ten days, and is a time to celebrate the divine feminine in the form of various goddesses, especially the most notable one, Durga. It means the emergence of good, the victory of light over darkness, and the regeneration of universal energy. During this nine-day festival, rapidly, the devotees fast, pray, and, get into the vibrant cultural activities which create the whole Navratri atmosphere. A day in the life of the goddess is that she is born into different incarnations, each representing different virtues and powers. 

The festival is accentuated by pretty decorations, intriguing ceremonies, and the ancient dance forms like Garba and Dandiya, all of which, in turn, builds the spirit of networking and the feeling of spiritual devotion. Throughout the year, individuals dress in traditional clothes and gather in church or community centers to worship and celebrate. Navratri is the day when every Indian worships the nine goddesses and attains peace after performing his devotion and repentance.  

It is the day when people of the vast country dress up as Lord Ram to get rid of their sins.  Thus, it acts as the symbol of Prosperity and Well-being. It embodies the deepest form of love, it paints the picture of celebration, and, hence, the fight between good and evil, and thus, it is the most loved and most revered festival of Hindu culture.

Dussehra Festival

Dussehra, which is also known as Vijayadashami, is a very important Hindu festival that is celebrated at the end of Navratri. It is the milestone of the story of Lord Rama, who defeated the demon king Ravana and thus, showed the victory of good over evil. The festival is a celebratory event that also marks the triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Apart from its religious significance, Dussehra is culturally important for the whole of India and this celebration is done with great enthusiasm. 

The festival usually has the burning of the effigies of Ravana, Meghanada, and Kumbhakarna, thus making a symbol of the demolition of the evil forces. It is also a time for processions, theatrical performances relating to the Ramayana, and feasting. In certain places, Dussehra is related to the worship of weapons and machines, which shows how important knowledge and skills are to win the battle against evil. In the end, Dussehra is the symbol of the victory of rightfulness and the significance of maintaining moral values in the society.

Diwali Festival

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most beloved festivals of Hinduism that not only fills all of India but also many other parts of the world with joy and enthusiasm. Humans are in the process of overcoming evil, the darkness, the ignorance and pushing themselves to win to achieve good, light and knowledge. It normally is a five-day long festival where different significances and rituals are celebrated by each day and the people enjoy the celebrations and create a family atmosphere. 
 
The festival actually starts with the first day, Dhanteras, where people buy new, mostly gold or silver things, because they feel like they are giving thanks. The second day is Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali, which is a day when we celebrate Lord Krishna's victory over the dark demon Narakasura. On the third day which is also the main Diwali day people use oil lamps, candles, and fireworks to light up their homes and surroundings therefore their faith that in the end light has won from the darkness is manifested. All of the family members are together, they give gifts, and have a great time on the dinner table while they are talking to each other. 
 
On the fourth day of the festival, which is Govardhan Puja, people at the hill worship Lord Krishna for the feat of raising the Govardhan Hill to shield the village from the fury of Lord Indra. This is the sixth and the final day, Bhai Dooj, which is the day when the love between brothers and sisters is all about. 
 
Moreover, Diwali is also a very important festival for Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, but these religions, respectively, have their own distinct meanings and traditions deeply seated in them. Essentially, Diwali is the festival of happiness, of togetherness, where if only life could be as good as this then people would be able to just hang out with each other and be happy for once. 

List of Festivals in Kashmir Division of Jammu and Kashmir

  Tulip Festival 
  Eid-ul-Fitr Festival 
  Eid-ul-Adha Festival 
  Shikhara Festival 
  Kheer Bhawani Mela
  Navroz Festival 
  Saffron Festival 
  Shivratri Festival 

Tulip Festival

The Tulip Festival in Kashmir is a much-loved annual celebration here in the Kashmir Valley, most especially in the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden situated in Srinagar. Usually in March or April, when the tulips are in full bloom, this festival takes place during the onset of spring, which is quite a nice time to be out and about. The Tulip Garden, one of the largest in Asia is a sight to behold, as you can see the countless and colorful tulips in all the patterns, and they are so nicely spread over the vast terraced fields. 
 
The festival brings the crowds and the locals together who come to see the glory of the tulips against the Himalayan scenery and the Dal Lake that makes it even more beautiful. If you are the one who wants to enjoy the beautiful sight of the blooming tulips, you can also take part in the cultural programs, musical performances, and food stalls of the local Kashmiri cuisine. 
 
The Tulip Festival in Kashmir is not only an agent for tourism in the region but also a sign of rebirth and hope, since it coincides with the arrival of spring, which comes with new life and colors in the valley, after the long winter months. 

Eid-ul-Fitr Festival

Eid-ul-Fitr, which is also called the "Festival of Breaking the Fast", is one of the most important Islamic holidays celebrated by Muslims all over the world. It signifies the termination of the holy month of Ramadan which is characterized by fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. Eid-ul-Fitr starts with the sighting of the new moon and it is generally celebrated on the first day of Shawwal which is the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. 
 
The day starts with a special prayer known as the Eid prayer, which is conducted in congregation at mosques or open prayer places. Muslims put on their best clothes, do special prayers, and listen to sermons that stress the values of thankfulness, charity, and forgiveness. On the other hand, after the prayer, people greet each other with "Eid Mubarak" (Blessed Eid) and visit their relatives, friends, and neighbors, where they share meals and sweets. 
 
The Zakat al-Fitr, which is charitable giving, is also a significant part of Eid-ul-Fitr, the amount of food or money that Muslims donate to the poor so that everyone can enjoy the festivity. The whole day families get together to have a good time with foods that are their cultural and regional specialties. 
 
Eid-ul-Fitr is a time of joy, unity, and gratitude, in which Muslims show their thankfulness to Allah for the support and guidance they got during Ramadan. Thus, it is also a time for a period of self-examination on the spiritual growth achieved during the month of fasting and for the deepening of the bonds within the community. 

Eid-ul-Adha Festival

Eid-ul-Adha, also referred to as the "Festival of Sacrifice" is one of the two major Islamic holidays that are celebrated by Muslims all over the globe. It is an acknowledgement of the readiness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Isma'il (Ishmael) as a fulfillment of Allah's order. Nevertheless, before Prophet Ibrahim could do the sacrifice, Allah gave him a ram that he had to sacrifice. 
 
Eid-ul-Adha is on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is the same time when the Hajj pilgrimage takes place in Mecca. The festival starts with a unique prayer, just like the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, where Muslims go to the mosques or the open prayer rooms to perform the Eid prayer. 
 
The main event of Eid-ul-Adha is the ritual sacrifice called Qurbani, where Muslims kill an animal, either a sheep, a goat, a cow or a camel, to honor Prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his son. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: one-third is for the needy, one-third for the relatives and friends, and one-third is kept for the family. 
 
The Eid-ul-Adha is also a sign of the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, during which the pilgrims perform the rituals that symbolize the actions of Prophet Ibrahim and his family. The festival is a season of thanksgiving, charity and the reflection on the importance of the obedience to Allah's commands and the sacrifice for the greater good. It is a way of uniting the family and the community, thus, giving rise to the feeling of unity and compassion. 

Shikhara Festival

The Shikara Festival in Kashmir is an annual event that is held to honor the traditional Kashmiri Shikara boats and the distinct culture they symbolise. These festivals are always organized on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
At the festival, the Shikaras, which are wooden boats painted with bright colors and having intricate designs, are the most beautifully and magnificently decorated and put on show. Tourists can experience the joy of Shikaras ride around Dal Lake, while savoring the peacefulness of the mountains and floating gardens that surround the lake. 
 
The festival usually has cultural performances, music, dance, and food stalls where the people sell out the Kashmiri cuisine. It is a means of promoting tourism in the area and a tool for the protection and display of the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir. 
 
The Shikara Festival in Kashmir is a wonderful event that celebrates the natural beauty, art and traditions of the region, thus, it draws tourists from all over the world to the Dal Lake and Kashmir to enjoy the peace and the Charm of the place. 

Kheer Bhawani Mela

The Kheer Bhawani Mela is an annual Hindu festival which is held at the Kheer Bhawani Temple situated in the Tula Mula village close to Srinagar, Kashmir. It is an institution that is devoted to the worship of the Goddess Rajnya Devi, also known as Kheer Bhawani, who is considered to be the presiding deity of the temple. 
 
The festival normally takes place on the eighth day of the full moon in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha, which usually is May or June in the Gregorian calendar. Thousands of Kashmiri Pandit devotees, mostly, go to the temple to ask for the blessings of the goddess. 
 
The festival is the time when devotees carry out rituals, prayers, and offer kheer (a sweet rice pudding) to the Goddess, and hence the name Kheer Bhawani. The color of the spring water pond next to the temple is also supposed to alter, which signifies the good or bad that will happen to the Kashmiri Pandit community in the new year. 
 
The Kheer Bhawani Mela is not just a religious event but also a cultural extravaganza, which includes the folk music, dance performances, and stalls selling the traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and cuisine. It is of great value for the Kashmiri Pandit community, as it is a symbol of their cultural heritage and identity. 

Navroz Festival

Navroz, or Nowruz is the Persian New Year, is a traditional festival that is celebrated by numerous communities that are of Persian and Central Asian descent, among others. "Nowruz" translates to "new day" in Persian and it is the day that the spring equinox starts and the Persian New Year begins. 
 
The festival has its ancient origins in Zoroastrian traditions and is a festival observed by many cultures including Iranians, Kurds, Afghans, Tajiks, Azerbaijanis, and others. It's a period of renewal, rejuvenation and the commemoration of nature's revival after the long winter. 
 
Navroz celebrations usually consist of strict spring cleaning of houses, purchasing of new clothes, preparation of special dishes, visiting the relatives and friends, and participation in the cultural events and rituals. Family customs are diverse but usually have something in common with the establishment of a "Haft-Seen" table, which is a table with seven items having the Persian letter "S" as their initial as symbols of life and nature aspects. 
 
Music, dance, poetry recitals, and storytelling are also the essential parts of Navroz celebrations, which demonstrate the cultural heritage and traditions of the communities that are the customers of this festival. 
 
Navroz is not only a time for celebration but also a time for thinking about the past, being thankful to it and hoping for the future year. It is the beginning of a sense of togetherness, cultural dignity and solidarity among people who gather to welcome the advent of spring and the new year. 

Saffron Festival

The Saffron Festival in Kashmir is a celebration of the region's saffron-cultivation and its culture. Kashmir is famous for being the source of some of the world's best saffron, which is widely recognized for its outstanding quality and scent. 
 
The festival usually happens during the season of the saffron harvest, which is in autumn. It sheds light on different facets of saffron farming, processing, and the use of saffron, as well as the cultural meaning of saffron in Kashmiri cuisine and traditions. 
 
During the festival, the visitors can try on the saffron fields, see the harvesting process and talk to the local farmers to know about the cultivation techniques and the difficulties in growing saffron. 
 
Cultural events, exhibitions, cooking demonstrations, and culinary competitions are also organized as part of the festival, they are the means of showing the various uses of saffron in Kashmiri cuisine and its importance in Kashmiri culture and traditions. 
 
The Saffron Festival is the platform through which the Kashmiri saffron is promoted, hence, the tourists are attracted, and the awareness for the preservation of the saffron cultivation in the region is raised. It is a way of admiring the particular culture of Kashmiri saffron and its role in the local economy and the cultural identity of the people. 
Fair and Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir
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