carnival is the most awaited event in the valley. This gay festival
has been declare a state level festival. Massive participation
by culture groups and students from various colleges of India
marks the success of winter carnival. The festival is held at
'Manu Kala Kendra' in Manali.
Second and third weeks of January in Manali are a feast for the
visitors when the five-day long festival is held.
The performers try to show their excellence and give their level
best. It provides opportunities to the artists to prove themselves.
Competitions conducted include Indian classical music (vocal
and instrumental), folk songs, folk dances, classical dances,
group dances, group songs, fancy dress, film songs, film dances,
one act plays, and street plays. The most awaited competitions
are Men's personality contest and Winter Queen contest.
First day of the festival is something to behold. First day tablos
are presented by various cultural groups, which is also a competitive
item. The rest four days are equally inviting, offering you a
substantial variety of programs. On the last day of the carnival,
finals of Winter Queen contest and Men's Personality contest are
held. On the last day, the chief guest distributes prizes to the
victorious participants of the five-day long festival.
Spring festival is also called Basantotsava or Pipal jatra and
takes place at Dhalpur ground Kullu from 28th April to 30th April.
This fair has been declared a state festival by the Himachal Pradesh
government. As it marks the beginning of the spring season (and
also the tourist season) in the valley, it is also known as Spring
Kullu is known as the valley of gods. The villages have their
own gods and goddesses. It is said that in olden days, the King
(or the Raja) used to sit in the Dhalpur ground with his courtiers
under the Pipal Tree to look at the traditional dances. Earlier
16 Gods used to participate in the fair, but as the years rolled
by, the fair lost its grandeur.
Every night during the festival, cultural programs are performed
by the various cultural groups at Kala Kendra which is a big open-air
theater. The cultural groups and reputed artists come from all
over India to perform in the festival.