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Know all about popular festivals of Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand Festivals

Uttarakhand is also known for festivities and celebrations. Like other parts of India, there are a number of fairs and festivals that are celebrated across the state of Uttarakhand. Besides the national festivals like Diwali, Holi, Rakhi, Dussehra, Id and Christmas, many local festivals are celebrated in the state. Many of these festivals are closely associated with the onset of a new season. Have a look at some of the important festivals of Uttarakhand.

Basant Panchmi
Basant Panchmi is a very famous festival, celebrated not only in Uttarakhand but in the whole of North India. This festival marks the onset of spring season. It is celebrated between the months of January and February. On the occasion of Basant Panchmi, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped. According to various legends, Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of learning and music. She is also highly respected and people seek her blessings by praying and offering to her.

Bat Savitri Festival
Bat Savitri festival is yet another very popular festival of Uttarakhand. This festival is not only celebrated in Uttarakhand but in the whole of India by the married women for the well being of their husband. The Bat Savitri festival is generally celebrated on the last day of the dark half of the month of Jyeshtha, according to the Hindu calendar.

Harela and Bhaitauli
This festival is mostly observed by the women folk as most of the customs of this festivals are for the women. During this festival, they fill their baskets with soil and atleast seven different kinds of seeds are sowed in the soil. These seeds are regularly watered and are given ten day's time to germinate. After ten days, the seeds sprout as green grasses shoot out from the soil.

According to some people, this festival is celebrated to mark the victory of King of Kumaon. This festival also marks the starting of the autumn season. During this festival, bonfires are lit and cucumbers are offered to the fire. According to popular belief, fire has the strength to do away with all the evil. During this festival, animals are taken special care of and are fed fresh grass.

Makar Sankranti
The festival of Makar Sankranti is an important festival as it marks the beginning of the season of change. It is considered as a very auspicious festival and it is celebrated not only in Uttarakhand, but throughout the country.

Olgia Festival
The Olgia festival is celebrated on the first day in the month of August. During this festival, the agricultural fields are filled with crops that are ripened and there are lots of fruits and vegetables in the trees and the cattle are very productive as well. The agriculturists, during this festival, give various presents to the owners of the land.

Phool Dei
The Phool Dei festival is a special festival which marks the welcoming of spring season, by praying for general well being and by preparation of special foods. Young girls are the most keen to participate in this festival. They gather together and fill their plates with rice, jaggery, leaves and flowers. Many artists perform on this occasion.

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