Fulaich, The Festival Of Kinnaur

Fulaich FestivalFulaich is popularly known as the festival of flowers, held annually by the people of Kinnaur. The day of the festival falls on the 20th day of the month of Bhadra that is around the first week of the month of September. The Kinnaur valley is known as Fulaich and the festive is celebrated in the remembrance of the dead ancestors. The festive continues over a period of four-five days. In this period the young boys from the clan go up to the hilltops to find and bring the exotic Ladra flowers. And once they are back to the village, the festive is celebrated with the folk music accompanied with beating of drums, metal chappers and bugles.

The festivity                                                                         
On the first day, as the evening comes down, the head priest visits the bank of the River Bapsa, the residing place of another priest. According to the popular believes, god speaks through these priests and selects some of the young boys from the village. These chosen boys starts early in the next morning to climb up the nearby hill with a height over 4500 meters. Once they collect the flowers from the hill top they climb down to the shrine and dedicate the flowers to the dead ancestors, goats are sacrificed at the same spot.

The idols of god from the local temples are carried out on head, and folk dance is performed in the tune of the drums and bugles along with the idols. The music, beating of drums and dancing continues for some time and as the dusk falls, meat and wine is served to all the people.  Poltu which is a form of fried bread popular in the locality and ghanti, a locally prepared wine from apple and apricot is served. The meat is served at the end. Once the dinning is over the idols of the deities are carried back to the temples while dancing on the way. This dance carries till late night and gifts are also distributed. Drinking and dancing continues for the whole night.

On the next morning, again the young boys climb up the hill and collects flowers that is offered to the mother goddess. And in the evening when they come down they are received happily with the people of the clan, who also carries the idols of the deities with them. Band of musicians play music in front of the flower bringing boys. Afterwards the party starts; a particular type of dance is performed in separate groups of girls and boys. This folk dance is the speciality of these people of Kinnaur. By the end of the party, food including meat and wine is served.

On the third day the main dance festival is performed encircling the local Shiv Mandir. The gods are carried out on head to tour the entire village. After the party with meat and wine finally people get back to their home by the mid night. On the last day of the festival, men and women dances forming large human chains and tours the whole village. These dancing groups of men and women greet every passer-by on its way and finally the festive ends with distributing gifts. 

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