Chief Minister Kick-starts Manali Winter Carnival 2023

Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu flagging of the Manali Winter Carnival 2023 (Photo: HP Public Relations)

Manali: Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu flagged off the parade of the Winter Carnival 2023 in Manali on Monday and inaugurated cultural programmes at Manu Ranghshala here. This was his first public programme as a chief minister.

Manali winter carnival is the national level and largest tourism event of Himachal showcasing local culture and winter sports to attract tourists. Cultural troupes from different states and from different parts of the country reached Manali .

As there are possibilities of more snowfall, Bhuvneshvar Gaur, MLA Manali, asked officials to make sure that the road remains open during the carnival.

Gaur said there is a need to change the theme of the carnival which not only should be based purely on cultural display to attract more tourists but also winter sports competitions should be organised with it. “This year we had a short time to make all the arrangements. Carnival is an important event in Himachal. It needs a complete makeover,” he said.

He added Carnival will bring double joy to the tourists as Manali has now enough snow at its tourist places which will last for weeks. Auditions for the winter queen beauty pageant and voice of carnival are being held at different locations these days. The shortlisted candidates will get a chance to perform during the carnival in Manali.

The increased cold and snow-covered peaks will double the thrill. He added that the Winter Carnival, the largest tourism event of Himachal showcasing the local culture and winter sports to attract tourists during the lean winter season, will be celebrated between January 2 and 6 of January.

Carnival had started its journey in 1977 to promote winter games in the region and later it was celebrated to attract tourists to Manali in winter season.

Later cultural and other colorful events were added to it. Carnival, which received status of national level event in 2011, now begins with cultural processions and tableaus. Winter queen contest, voice of carnival, folk dances, western dances, street plays, fashion shows, baby shows, magic shows, local cuisines and other events in many categories are held.

We, on behalf of the people of Himachal, request the Himachal government and Kullu administration not make Winter Carnival a government event, but are constructive and thoughtful to make it a successful event by involving local creative workforce and ignoring political interests.

With nearly 180 cultural troops including 162 mahila mandals showcasing their culture through tableaux, folk dresses and dramatic presentation of the old lifestyle

The carnival parade started after worship at Hidimba Devi temple by the chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu The cultural troops came to the main town from circuit house, after covering a distance of about 1.5km and thousands of people, including tourists, thronged both sides of the road.

The processions and tableaux stopped at the mall road. The main events also began at Manu Rangshala, an open air amphitheatre, after lighting the lamps by the CM.

Entire Manali has been coloured in festive mood and hoteliers and travel agents are inviting tourists to Manali to enjoy this cultural bonanza. Hoteliers have offered special carnival discounts to attract more tourists.

The variety of programmes will continue at Manu Rangshala and on the mall road till January 6. Folk dances, folk songs, western dances, song competitions, games, winter queen beauty pageant and a large number of other programmes will entertain local and tourists.

Local women participate in large numbers at the Winter Carnival (Photo: HP Public Relations)

A large number of mahila mandals and self help groups are cooking local cuisines where tourists can enjoy the traditional Himachali cuisines for five days.

Manali SDM Dr Surender Thakur, who is also Winter Carnival committee vice-chairman, said,“successful conduct of carnival is only possible with joint effort of government, mahila mandals, organizing committee members, hoteliers and local residents. The main purpose of the carnival is to promote tourism. We are expecting the maximum participation of the tourists. Local residents are showcasing culture and traditions for the visitors. Tourists should also taste the local cuisines like siddu, gicchay, aksalu, femda prepared by local women which otherwise are not available anywhere else.”

Hundreds of women performing Kullu Natti in the middle of Manali town as part tourists spellbound.

Adorned with traditional attire and ornaments, the women of all age groups forced tourists to dance with them to the tunes of folk music. Local women wear such attire and ornaments on special occasions.

The women during this special occasion have become the centre of attraction for all. Although tourists are not showing much interest in the variety of programmes being presented at Manu Rangshala, they are enjoying the programmes being performed on the mall road.

Many other folk dances and music are being performed in the market to entertain tourists. Tourists are also being given the opportunity to dance with the groups.

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