North Indian Festivals

Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttranchal are the six states, which form the Northern part of India. The traditions and cultures of celebrating a particular festival differs not only from state to state but also from the hilly region to the plains. Festivity brings alive the spirit of the people staying in the northern part of India.
Apart from some common festivals celebrated all over North India like Holi, Navratri, Diwali, Karva Chauth, Rakshabandhan and Dussehra there are some unique festivities which are region specific.  Some are listed here :
The paradise of India, Jammu and Kashmir has lots to offer apart from the mystic Leh, the beautiful valleys of Kashmir and the huge Shrines of Jammu.Vaitha – Vatur – Truvah which literally means thirteenth day of source of River Jhelum. It is held at an ancient temple at Verinag, the source of the Jhelum. Hindus and Muslims participate in this festival.Sindhu darshan festival is another important festival when the Kashmiris come from all over the state to worship the source of the River in Leh.Yuru Kabgyat is a typical Leh Buddhist festivals celebrated in July. Dances with masks are performed and the masks worn by the lamas during the dances represent guardian divinities.Doscmoche is another ancient festival, still celebrated every year in February with great pomp and fervour.
One of the picturesque regions Himachal Pradesh is said to be the abode of Gods and the festivities are celbrated with gaiety and pomp.
Phulaich festival is celebrated in the Kinnaur district in month of September and is unique in tradition. This four day festival is celebrated as the flower festival by the people of Himachal.
The Pori Festival is celebrated in the Lahaul valley of Himachal at the temple of Trilokinath. Sair Fiar, Hamir Utsav, Lavi Fiar, Renuka Fair and Chandigarh Garden Festival are the other fairs and festivals celebrated here.
The land of five rivers Punjab is also the land of brave Sikh community. Baisakhi is the New Year day for Punjabis, which falls in Mid April. This is also the harvest festival and people enjoy with great fervor, men with their Bhangra dance and women with Giddha to the tune of huge drums.
Hola Mohalla is another 3-day festival celebrated in Punjab. On this day mock battles are held followed by music and celebrations.
Gurupurab is another important festival for the Sikhs and the Punjabis. Birthdays of reverend Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur and Arjun Dev is remembered on these days.

Haryana is a state full of greenery. Teej festival is celebrated during the month of July – August, to welcome the month of Sawan, bringing rains.
Sanjhi is another important festival celebrated and worshiped as the mother goddess by unmarried girls of Haryana. They make the image of Sanjhi with mud using various shapes. The festival falls in late September or early October.
Gangore is celebrated around March -April. Idols of Ishar and Gangore are taken out in procession and songs in their praise are sung till they are immersed into water. This spring festival is held in honor of Gauri, the goddess of abundance.
Gugga Naumi is a religious festival celebrated all over Haryana which is associated with snake worship. It takes place in August-September.
Geeta jayanti Festival is dedicated to the birth of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of Hindus. It is mainly celebrated in Kurukshetra. 
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state has number of places of religious importance and has some unique festivities. Among them, Lathmar Holi has a very interesting backgournd for its celebration. It is celebrated in the town of Barsana near Mathura. [Legend has it that Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha’s village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends. Taking offence at this, the women of Barsana chased him away. Since then, men from Krishna’s village, Nandgaon, visit Barsana to play Holi in the town which has the distinction of having the only temple dedicated to Radha in India. To this day, the village women beat up the men from Nandgaon and chase them away.]
Kumbh Mela of Allahabad is one of the largest fairs in the world and one of the oldest too. Millions of pilgrims throng to be a part of this auspicious religious event and to take the holy dip in the river. There is annual Kumbh, six yearly and the most important is the one that comes every twelve years. It takes place in the months of January-February, on the banks of the holy confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.
The beautiful Kartik Purnima festival or the Dev Deepawali celebrated in Varanasi or Benaras, is a visual delight. The full moon night after Diwali falling in November – December is the sacred day for all the people. The ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of brightly lit earthen lamps. The lamps then are gently left on the River. It is a visual treat to witness this sight.Other festivals include Ramnavami celebrated at the birthplace of Ram  in Ayodhya and Janmashtami, at the birthplace of Krishna in Mathura.
Uttaranchal is the pilgrimage center for Hindus in India. It houses the four most sacred places of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in its mighty mountains and deep valleys. Apart from many festivals Mata Murti Ka Mela held in the Champavat region in September is the unique one in this region. On this day the mother of Badrinath is worshiped, and a large fair is held at the Badrinath Temple. Kumbh Mela is held at Haridwar in Uttaranchal. The Magh Mela during Sankranti in the Kumaon region is another important festival.

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