Culture in PalampurThe hill town of Palampur promises loads of relief to people who are on a lookout of peace and tranquility and who need a break from the busy city life. The region of Palampur is a heavenly abode for tourists as it is blessed with natural beauty and the spread of lush tea gardens coupled with the dense pine forests provide a intriguing touch to the landscape. The people of Palampur are also very rich culturally and there are a number of festivals that are celebrated by the people of Palampur. The people here practice Hinduism and Buddhism as religions and both these religions have a number of celebrations throughout the year that keeps the town of Palampur vibrant and lively.
Languages in PalampurThe people of Palampur speak two principal languages namely Hindi and Himachali. Also, the languages of Himachali and Hindi are extensively used for official purposes as well. There is a slight usage of English in some of the administrative offices. However, while one is out on a local sightseeing tour or is exploring the local markets, the knowledge of Hindi is enough to help an individual converse with the locals of Palampur.
Fairs and Festivals in PalampurThis place of Palampur celebrates a number of festivals and there are some unique festivals that are only celebrated in Palampur and are very vital parts of the cultural aesthetics of this place. Some of the popular festivals that are celebrated in Palampur are discussed below.
Holi- This is one of the major festivals that is celebrated in Palampur.This festival is celebrated for four straight days and a large fair and celebration is conducted in public places like Pragati Maidan and others in Palampur. Often times, these celebrations are inaugurated by the Governor of the state. This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Falgun and it is usually observed on a full moon day. A puja is offered during this festival by the local women of the villages in Palampur.
As per the tradition, small wood twigs mainly from the tree of "Kamal" are colored in yellow and red and are carefully placed in a basket made of bamboo that is known as "Khartoo". The women carry these baskets, and place some thread, jaggery, roasted grams, vermillion powder in the basket and carry some colored water along to offer Puja to an elderly man in the village who is known as the "Dandochh". After that the puja is offered to the Holi and next day the entire town plays Holi that is basically a festival of colours. The night before the Holi, there is a bonfire celebrated in the town that is joined by young and old alike.
There is a fair held for around 4 to 5 days during the Holi and it is managed by the state government. There are a number of folk songs and dances performed during this fair. There are many competitions held in this fair as well and the principal festival being making a local artifact known as "Jhanki".
Sair- Another local festival celebrated by the people of Palampur is the festival of Sair during which the locals offer their prayers to a deity named "Sair". This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra. This festival dates back to the historical era when Palampur was often devastated due to floods as it is surrounded by a lot of water bodies. Therefore, in order to safeguard the family and friends the locals offer their harvest, food, crops, fruits and vegetables to the deity in order to satisfy her so that there is no loss of human life. During this festival the locals invite their friends and relatives to attend the Puja. A newly wed bride stays at her parents place for a month and then returns to her in laws place after the month of Chaitra goes by.
Shivratri- The temple of Baijnath and other Shiv temples in Palampur get thronged by a lot of devotees who offer their prayers to Lord Shiva during this festival. The devotees fast and then offer milk and fruits to Lord Shiva as a mark of respect.
Lohri- A day before the occasion of Makar Sankranti, the festival of Lohri is celebrated in Palampur with a lot of fanfare. People enjoy feasts and sing songs of Lohri and wear new and colorful clothes on the occasion of Lohri.
There are many other festivals that is celebrated with grandeur and pomp in Palampur. Festivals like Baisakhi and Diwali are also celebrated with great gallore. Baisakhi marks the season of harvest and Diwali is celebrated as the festival of lights in this area. Therefore, if you visit Palampur during any of the festivals mentioned above, you are bound to have a great time filled with fun and celebrations.
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