Alpana is a very important art form of Kumaon which can easily be spotted in the homes of this region. Aipan has a number of art forms including Saraswati Chowki, Nav Durga Chowki, Chamunda Hasti Chowki, Janeyu Chowki, Hasan Chowki, Acharya Chowki, Dhuli Arghya Chowki, Durga Thapa etc. Apart from worshipping Lord Shiva and Shakti, the residents of this region worship other Gods and Goddesses too including Kul Devta, Bhumi Devta, Gram Devta and Naga Devta. Some other important folk Gods worshipped include Naina Devi, Nanda Devi, Gwalla, Bholenath, Airy, Gangnath, Chaumu, Haru and Kail Bisht.
The people of Kumaon speak 13 dialects including Kumaiya, Gangola, Soryali, Sirali, Askoti, Danpuriya, Johari, Chaugarkhyali, Majh Kumaiya, Khasparjia, Pachhai and Rauchaubhaisi. This group of languages is known as the group of Central Pahari languages. Kumaon is also rich in its folk literature which comprises of myths, heroes, heroines, bravery, Gods, Goddesses and the characters drawn from Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
The most popular dance form of Kumaon is known as Chhalaria and it is related to the martial traditions of the region. All the festivals are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and witness such traditional dance forms even today.
Festivals CelebratedSome of the majorly celebrated festivals of Uttarakhand include
Holi of Kumaon
Harela and Bhitauli
The day when Navaratris begin, women sow seven different types of grains in a basket full of soil. These grains then germinate and turn into yellow leaves known as 'Harela'. These leaves are then cut on the very last day (the tenth day) and are put on the head of the women. The month of Chaitra which is the period between March and April is when presents are sent by brothers to their sisters. These presents are known as Bhitauli. Harela is a festival which is celebrated so as to welcome the rainy season.
Fair of JageshwarThis fair is carried out in the temple of Lord Shiva in Jageshwar on the fifteenth day of Baisakh month which is the period extending from late March to early April. People take a dip in the pool known as Brahma Kund as a kind of belief during the fair. The people also worship Lord Shiva on this day.
Kumbh Ka MelaIts origin can be traced back to the time when Gods and demons entered into a pact to work together for attaining Amrita which means immortality from the milky ocean and split it equally amongst them. However, when the pot was found, it was stolen by the demons and they ran away with it. The Gods then followed them for twelve days and twelve nights and there was a huge battle which took place between both the parties. It is said that while this battle was going on, some drops of this nectar fell in all the four places mentioned i.e., Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
Folk dance and music of Uttarakhand
Folk songs include Basanti which are composed to welcome the spring season, Mangal which are sung during the marriage ceremonies, Jagars which are used during the worship of ghosts, Bajuband which talks about the love and sacrifice of the shepherds, Khuded which talks about the suffering of a woman who gets separated from her husband and Chhura which talk about the experience of the shepherds and the advice passed on by them to the younger generation.
Food Of UttrakhandYummy recipes being followed from generations
Some of the most delicious mouth-watering specialities of Uttarakhand include-
Urad Dal ke pakode which are spicy pakoras prepared from different pulses.
Phanu which too is made from dals, Jhangore ki kheer which is a sweet dish prepared with Jhangora.
Chainsoo which is made from black gram dal.
Bhang ki chutney which is sour tasting chutney prepared from roasted bhang and cumin seeds mixed with lemon juice.
Traditional Dresses Of UttarakhandThe dresses worn by people residing in an area depicts the culture and traditions followed by them and a fair idea about the kind of communities residing there. Uttarakhand is home to a variety of communities including Punjabis, Bengalis, Tibetan and Nepalis. Residents of Garhwal Hills have their own pattern of wearing clothes due to the cold weather of the place as a result of which, wool obtained from sheep or goat is used to prepare woollen clothes.
Traditional Costumes Of MenAlmost everyone follows a similar dressing style. The most commonly worn lower-garment is either a Dhoti or a Lungi. Various colored Kurtas are worn as the upper-garment. In addition, a headgear or a turban is a must add-on to complete this traditional costume. Kurta-Pyjama is another very famous alternative for the men of Uttarakhand. Women as well as men wear woolen jackets as well as sweaters in the winter season.
Towns, as well as cities such as Rishikesh and Dehradun, have witnessed a lot of western clothing influence over past few years.
Traditional Costumes Of WomenGhagri is a long skirt which is worn by mostly all the women of Uttarakhand. It is complemented with a beautiful colored Choli which is an Indian blouse and a cloth covering the head i.e., an Orni. This Orni is generally fixed firmly to the waist. This is the traditional costume of the women of both Garhwalis as well as Kumaonis. Ghagra- Pichora is the traditional bridal costume of the Kumaoni women which is similar to the Ghagra Lehenga-Choli. Pichora is a Kumaoni covering (more like a veil) which is decorated with gold and silver embroidery.
Saris are also very commonly worn by the ladies here. The usual look of Kumaoni women involves them wearing sindoor on the forehead along with a huge gold ring (also known as Nath) on the nose. Also, it is mandatory to wear Chareu which is a necklace composed of black beads as a sign of being married. Hansuli is another ornament (kind of a necklace) which is worn in gold by the rich ladies while in silver by the poor ones. Some ethnic groups also wrap mantle-like clothing known as Sarong around them. Sarong is kept in place with the help of a waistband and the dress is completed by wearing a top blouse along with it. Muslin textiles especially muslin veils are the most famous and truly some assets of the Uttarakhand costume designs which exist. These designs are made in shades of yellow which bring out positivity and red which brings out the warmth and affability both of which define the auspicious occasion and holy nature of marriage.
Uttarakhand is thus a hub of different traditions, ethnic-groups and languages brought together. This is what brings out the beauty of the state. Do plan a visit to the wondrous state and we are sure each one of you is likely to have an amazing time.
Come, be a part of the troop!