HILLJATRA : THE FARMING CELEBRATION
Uttarakhand is a storehouse of many state specific traditional festivals. One of the festivals among them is the Hill jatra festival. This festival is celebrated specially in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. It is a celebration for the people related to farming. The starting point of this celebration is accepted to be from the Sorar of West Nepal to the Sor Valley and was at first presented in Kumaour town. Afterward, it was likewise seen by the general population of Bajethi and different towns of Pithoragarh locale.
A white clothed deer is worshipped as a local god during this festival. This festivity is celebrated in three phases. Wherein, the first phase includes sacrifice of goat with all the rituals; second phase includes performing dramas for the public. These dramas include representation of many different agricultural and pastor activities Then comes the final phase, which includes songs and dancing performance. Traditional dances being performed, is what makes this a wholesome experience. And not to forget the traditional musical instruments of Uttarakhand like dhamau, Nagada and Bhonkar. In the developmental process, the aathon (eight day of bhado) and Gawra Visarjan also became the part of Hilljatra.
Hilljatra is basically related to the planting of paddy and this celebration is to please the god to ensure good yield during the farming season. It is the belief of the people and the enthusiasm that make this festival even more special.