Eid ul Azha and Eid ul Fitr:
The two most important festivals of Muslims are celebrated in Kashmir in the full-fledged extravaganza. Kashmir being the Muslim majority region, Muslim festivities witness a huge participation. Although Eid is a festival celebrated throughout the world and in the rest of India too, with great buzz, Kashmir’s magic makes Eid here a delight to celebrate.
Hemis Gompa is the largest and richest monastery in Kashmir, located in Ladakh where Hemis is celebrated with full pomp and show. This day is declared as the state holiday. It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Padmasambhava who is known as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Celebrated for two days in the fifth month of the year, also called Tibetan lunar month, the festivities take place in a large courtyard of this monastery. Men get dressed up in traditional attires and women also wear heavy jewellery and headgears.
Baisakhi is celebrated throughout the country on the 13th of April and is a prominent festival of the Sikhs. The day is celebrated as the New Year by Sikhs in India. This date embarks the harvesting season in India. This festival witnesses humongous celebrations in the state of Kashmir, because of the population of Sikhs in the region. Especially the embarking of harvesting season in Northern India has huge cultural relevance to the Sikhs of Kashmir.
The lifeline and identity of the Dal Lake in Kashmir, Shikara needs to be celebrated once in a year. To promote tourism, Kashmir’s government began this festival in 2016. During the festival, Shikaras are painted and dressed beautifully. Shikaras participate in Shikara Race, Dragon Boat Race and Canoe Polo Match. Other cultural programs are also organised which will give you a glimpse of the culture of Kashmir. It takes place in the months of July or August.
Celebrated on 13 January every year, Lohri festival marks the end of peak winter celebrates the harvest of crops. It is a festival to celebrate the harvest of sugarcane crops in January. People light up a bonfire, sing songs, dance and eat winter delicacies made of corn, peanuts, sesame and jaggery. It is a popular festival in Punjab and Jammu.