Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh are performed during Celebrations like – marriages, the birth of a child, fairs, festivals, harvest, and worshiping of the local deity are all occasions for rejoicing.
So, a time when a remarkable lot of the hill folk dances take time off from their ardors labors to dance, sing, and make merry.
The hill folk have a long tradition of preserving their dance forms and rich cultural traditions.
People are Celebrating an all-important part of their lives.
The light of a ballad fills the air and skirts swing to the rhythm of the music.
Himachal Pradesh has preserved its culture even today in the era of modernity, folk dances of Himachal Pradesh are performed every year in fairs, festivals, and other cultural events.
Himachal has a long list of unique dances for every occasion, in every form, and for every region.
This folk dance is mostly performed in local fairs and on joyous occasions like marriages and the coming of the deities!
Women and men dance gracefully dressed in their traditional costumes.
So, in this article, we have provided information about the famous and traditional dance of Himachal Pradesh
Nati-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
The Naati is the most popular dance form of the Kullu, Shimla, Mandi, armor, and Chamba districts, and dance is performed well by the native of Himachal of all age groups.
The dancers are attired in the full splendor of their traditional ornaments and costumes.
They make a crescent form by linking hands crossed on the back of each other.
The accompanying musical instruments generally consist of dhols (barren-shaped drums), karnals(long trumpets), and shehnai, nagaras (bowl-shaped drums).
Nati has a rich dance tradition.
It is the most popular and famous dance performed at fairs and festivals.
This dance is performed in the districts of Kullu, Sirmaur, Shimla, etc. of Himachal Pradesh.
It is started at a slow speed, while doing this it is called a loose pulse and later it increases at a rapid pace.
Dholak, Karnal, Ranasingha, Flute, Shehnai, and Nagade are used in this dance.
In this dance, women express their happiness by dancing in the courtyard of the house.
There are several varieties of Nati performed in which the main ones are as follows:-
- Kulvi Nati
- Gaddi Nati
- Mahasuvi Nati
- Jaunsari Nati
- Sirmauri Nati
- Kinnauri Nati
- Barada Nati
Dangi-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
One of the major folk dances of Himachal Pradesh, this folk dance is based on one of the oldest folk tales and is performed in the Naina Devi temple during the harvest season.
It is a dance form of the Chamba area.
Dangi dance is performed in Chamba district.
and perform at festivals, weddings, and during Jatara by the Gaddi women.
Female dancers are mainly involved in Dangi folk dance.
There are different themes or variations of this dance.
The dance is full of excitement and enthusiasm along with a plethora of emotions, one theme depicts the love story of a common village girl and a princely king, and the other depicts business transactions between a customer and a business.
Chhanak Chham-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Chhanak Chham dance is a very famous dance form of Himachal Pradesh in the Lahaul-Spiti region, in memory of Lord Buddha and as a tribute.
Dance is in the Lahaul-Spiti district.
Lamas of the Lahaul-Spiti area perform this spiritual dance once in every three years, on the occasion of the Chhakhar festival, as a tribute to the god Buddha. ‘Chhanak’ is the typical cap wear by the dancers.
The Lamas of the Lahaul-Spiti region perform this devotional dance on the occasion of Chakhar, which happens once every three years.
It is famous for its vibrant hats, costumes, and masks.
The theme of his costume is yellow, black, and gold, and is designed to be sleek and shiny.
The cap is called a filter.
This Himachal Pradesh dance is beautiful compared to other slow-moving dances.
Demon (Rakshasa) Dance-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Rakshasa dance is related to the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
Demon (Rakshasa) dance or Chhambha dance can performed in the Lahaul-Spiti district.
Rakshasa dance is performed wearing demon masks.
These masks are in the numbers three, five, seven, and nine.
This dance is performed to protect crops from evil spirits and demons in this region.
It looks like Bhangra.
The dancers, dressed in primitive costumes and ornaments, look fierce. Scenes of exorcism and demons are presented in this dance.
These dances are organized on the occasion of Chaitol, Bishu, and Diwali.
Men and women hold each other’s hands and dance.
The one who dances at the fore is also called Ghurye. Sometimes men and women dance separately as well.
It is a splendid dance performed by the Lamas, in the Buddhist monasteries during religious and other festivals, as a part of the celebrations.
The dance is well known for the elaborate mask, headgear, and costume for the participants and is very popular in Tibetan settlement areas of Himachal Pradesh, such as Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, and Ladakh.
Kayang Mala -Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Kinnaur region is famous for its dances.
There are three types of folk dances in Kinnaur.
This is the famous folk dance of Kinnaur. In this men and women form a semi-circle and the Bajko (instrument players) stand in the middle. An old man of the men’s group and an old woman of the women’s group lead the way and follow the steps according to the tune set by the instrument. Each person holds the hand of the third person from him. The leader of the group ho-ho, but everyone bows half forward. Two men of the group sing folk songs, which the rest follow.
The most popular of these is Kyang Mala. In this dance, men and women stand in a semicircle and the Bajantri stands in the center of the semicircle.
A middle-aged man leads the men and a middle-aged woman leads the women.
The dance progresses in a complete circle with each person holding the hand of the third person to their right.
This circular group slowly spins and eventually, the leader shouts ho, ho, ho, ho, and each dancer bends his knee and jerks forward.
The dancers continue to sing and the first two women sing and the rest follow them. This dance lasts for hours.
Kayang Mala dance has three form:
- Nagas kyang
- Clumsy kayang
- Shuna kayang
Dalshon and Cholamba Dance-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Cholamba Dance is one of the famous folk dances of Himachal Pradesh.
This dance is performed in Ropa Valley.
This dance is performed while coiling a snake.
Whenever a Tiger is killed, the Cholamba dance is performed.
In this dance skin and a gold ornament are put in the nose of a dead lion.
Dhure Dance-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Dhure dance is also very popular in Lahauli.
In this dance, the dancers present an attractive dance by making a semicircular and circular circle.
This dance is mainly based on singing and it lacks musical instruments.
The style of singing in this dance is so effective that even if there is no music, it does not affect the ‘Dhure’ dance, theatrical dances are performed in epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Shan and Shabu-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Shan and Shabu are popular dances of Lahaul Valley.
These dances are performed in the Gompa in the memory of Buddha.
Shan means dance based on the praises of Buddha is called Shan dance.
It is a type of ethnic dance, which takes place after the harvest.
Laaldi and Ghughti-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
The tradition of women’s dance is also found in the mountain society.
Laaldi is a popular female folk dance in Himachal Pradesh.
Dhol, Nagada, Shehnai, etc., are not used in this dance.
Taal and rhythm etc., are completed only by clapping.
In the Ghughti dance, the dancer places his hands on the shoulders of the next dancer.
The next three to four dancers sing the Ghughti song and the rest repeat it.
Swaangtegi-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
There is a tradition of dancing Swaangtegi dances by wearing lion and garden wooden masks on Diwali.
In this, there is a clean dance like wild animals.
Dhakheni and Drodi are deity dances.
Such dances are organized on occasions like Jagar, Shant, etc. Scenes of warring heroes, invaders, temples, stupas, etc. are also presented in Swangtegi dances.
Thoda-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Thoda is a Warrior dance performed by the Rajputs in the districts of Sirmour, Shimla, and Solan of Himachal Pradesh.
It is performed during the Vishu Fair in the month of Chaitra and Vaisakh (April-May).
It traces its origin to Mahabharata and it manifests a subtle confluence of dance, sports, and folk theatre.
Cham-Folk dance of Himachal Pradesh
Cham dance is unique to Tibetan Buddhism.
The dance also known as the God Dance is a colorful and impressive performance, and at the same time intimate and significant dance performed by Buddhist monks.
Unlike common dance, Cham has a religious meaning, therefore, only monks and lamas can perform it.
It is a form of meditation for both dancers and the audience.
Keekali-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
Keekali (Kikli) dance is a dance of young girls and is danced playfully in twos. The girls hold hands crosswise and rotate fast on their toes, singing songs.
The Bhangra is a male dance that originated in Punjab and is popular in the Kangra, Himirpur, and Una areas in a fairly wild form.
Rituals such as Chandroli, Jhumakada, and Googa swang also give one a glimpse into the local dance forms.
The tribal dances of the trans-Himalayan region are different in content and music.
The old tradition of both song and dance in these areas has been zealously guarded against any urban influence.
The districts of Kinnaur, Lahaul, and Spiti and the Tehsils of Pangi and Bharmour of Chamba district constitute this zone.
The inhabitants in these areas are known as Kinnauras, Lahaulas, Spitians, Pangwals and Gaddis.
There are the Gujjars who are the wandering nomads.
All these tribes have their distinct traditions of folk dances, songs, dresses, and ornaments.
Besides the popular dances like Kayang, Bakayang, and Banyangchu there are ritual dances performed by Lamas on certain religious ceremonies or festive occasions.
One masked dance particularly features an important event in the history of Himalayan Buddhism when Lamas successfully carried out a plan to execute a cruel king Langdarma.
A special occasion for masked dances is the celebration of the birth of Padma Sambhava who is held in high esteem by the Buddhists of the Himalayas since it was he who carried the message of Buddhism to Tibet.
Dandras Dance-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
Dandras is a traditional dance performed by the men of the ‘Gaddi’ tribe i.e. the nomadic shepherd tribe belonging to the Bharmaur region of the Chamba district. The dance is performed with small sticks and can last for hours at a time.
Lahauli dance is performed on the tunes of the musical instruments of Ladakh, known as Surna and Damman.
The steps are simple but graceful. For instance, dancers move in a circular pattern after interlocking their hands.
They usually wear long gowns with embroidered borders, matching jackets, and ornaments made of beads and stones.
Losar Shona checksum
Losar Shona Chuksam isae folk dance performed in the Kinnaur region, known for its love of music and dance.
The dance has been named after the festival ‘Losar’ or New Year. Dhol, bronze cymbals known as Bugjal, Karna,l and Ransingha are the musical instruments on which thfolk dance based.
This folk-dance is popular among teenagers in the middle regions. In this, the dancers stand behind each other. The people behind hold the coat of the person in front from below by one edge. The leader of the group sings the song ‘Ghaghti’ and bends forward in a crooked manner. The rest follow him.
It is a famous folk dance ofthe upper part of Shimla andthe eastern part of Sirmaur. This dance is often performed by sections during fairs. Khand is a forceful group of khashons. When they go to a fair, they get together and dance on the way. They have swords, dungarees, sticks, khukr,i or handkerchiefs in their hands. They go on playing dhol and raising together. During the night, the dancers perform this dance with torches in their hands. When they reach the fair, they part ways after dancing for a while. On returning in the evening, they come back dancing again.
This is a famous folk dance performed in Sirmaur which is performed collectively by a group of 10-15 men during Diwali or other festivals. 4-5 men play the Hudki (instrument) and the rest dance while singing songs holding the Dangars in their hands. These songs describe heroic legends, of which the song of Siddha and his stronghold is more popular. Rfolk dancessa are other famous folk-dances of Sirmaur, which are similar to Nati.
Deepak dance-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
These are folk dances of the Chhatrari area of Chamba. Dangi dance is a group dance of Gaddi women, which is performed in “Jatra” or fairs. The Depak dance is performed when the Gaddis move towards Kangra with their sheep and goats.
Full-Journey Dance of Pangi
This dance is performed by the women of Pangi before the first snowfall. The dance begins with the sharei’ move, while the dancers enter the dance space in intersecting lines and then start dancing in a circle holding hands. A step forward and backward is taken by bending the knees. Kinnaur being the land of eunuchs is called the home of dances. Both Buddhist and Hindu have been included in the dances here.
Bakayand-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
This is another type of dance of Kinnaur in which the dancers form two or three lines facing each other. One row of dancers dances rhythmically, retreating and coming in front of the front row. This sequence is repeated alternately. This dance is usually performed by women.
Banyangchu-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
This is the third type of dance of Kinnaur, which is performed by men. Steps are taken independently in this. The dancers dance in a circle around thebacks. Women sing songs. Other dances of Kinnaur are Panas, Champa, Chamik, Ravar, Dayang Jogsa,n etc.
Karthi-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
Karthi dance form is mainly in the Kullu district.
It is a post-harvest dance in the open, in the light of an autumn moon.
In i,t both men and women find an occasion for relaxation and rejoining after the autumnal harvest.
Dressed in gay clothes they assemble in an open field to dance and sing. Kformng their arms, the dancers forms a circle and begin their movements slowly and gracefully.
Soon when the tempo rises and the dance reaches its climax, the women dancers provoke their male partners to dance more energetically.
Dharvedi and Droondo
dance forms are also in the Kullu district.
Dharvedi and Droondu are religJaguarsncesShantsged during the jaguars of shants. In these, scenes from the battlefield or temple and stupa shapes are presented. Dancing in circular paths and suddenly falling on the ground and striking various poses are the major features of these dances. These are danced with great fervor. These dances can be seen during the Dusshera season in Kullu.
Languages Spoken in Himachal Pradesh
Kharait, Ujagjama and Chadhgebrikar
Kharait, Ujagjam,a and Chadhgebrikar danceformsm can be performed inthe Kullu district.
are strategic dances of men. These are danced with swords and heralds, sometimes in a circleatn a fast tempo.
Dhili Pheti and Bashari
dance form was also performed in the Kullu district. Dhili Pheti and Bashari, performed in village melas(fairs), are pure joyous events which both men and women participate.
dance is performed in the Sirmour district. The Gee dance of Sirmaur is performed during the festival of Lohari.
The dance is performed in the Sirmour district, has a carefully thought out pattern, and lasts for a long time. The Rasa dance is a symbol of unity in the people of Himachal Pradesh.
dance form is usually performed by a group of ten to fifteen people. Burah Dance form is mainly performed in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
the dance form is performed inthe Sirmour district. Jhoori is danced in the open. In this form of dance,e the people of Himachal Pradesh are questions and answers delivered in musical tones. Each line finished with Hoo Hoo sounds.
dance is also performed in the Sirmour district. Swang dance is Performed during the festival of Deepavali with the dancers wearing tiger masks carved out of wood.
Dhadair or Thadair
Dhadair or Thadair dance is also perform,med in Sirmour district.weaponsis the dancers hold aloft ,weapon like bows, arrows, knives or sticks and yell too as they move towards their imaginary adversaries. This song repeats scenes from the local history.
Shunto dance form is performed in the Lahaul-Spiti district. The Shunto is danced by men to a song in praise of Buddha.
As cleared from name Lahauli Dance is mainly performed in the Lahaul-Spiti district. Lahauli dance is performed on the tunes of the musical instruments of Surna and Damman (i.e. most famous inthe Ladakh area). the steps are simple but graceful. For instance, dancers move in a circular pattern after interlocking their hands.
Shand and shabu dances
forms also performed in the Lahaul-Spiti district.
Shand and Shabu dances are the two most popularValleys of the people of Lahaul valley and are dancedbyt the Buddist Tribes in memory of the Lord Buddha.
Shan means a song of worship for the Lord Buddha.
Dances danced to these songs are known as Shand dances.
this form of dance is performed at the time of the harvesting of crops completion.
The musicalinstrumentst played in this dance form are shehnai, violin,n and drumo.
A similar dance known as Shabbo is performed at the time of festivals.
It describes the feelings and beliefs of the people in Lahaul-Spiti.
Lang-dar-ma dance is also performed inthe Lahual-Spiti district. This is awell-knownn masked dance lasting several hours. It depicts the murder of the evil king Lang-Dar-Ma.
Chohara Dance can performed inthe Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. This dance form is performed in all famous festivals in the Shimla District of Himachal. This dance is done by men and women.
Dodra Kawar Dance
Dodra Kawar Dance is performed in the Shimla district. The dance Dodra Kawar mainly revolves around agriculture.
Losar Shona Chuksam
dance is performed inthe Kinnaur district. Losar refers to the New Year of the natives of Tibbat. The dance also includes innovative pieces like mime.
the dance form is performed in the Kinnaur district. Namagen dance is performed to celebrate the autumnal hue in September. The dancers themselves sing while musicians play the instruments. The dancing steps & rhythm of the Namagen dance are wonderfully mixed together. The role of the Drum plays an important part in Namagen’s dance form.
Kayang dance form is perfomed in Kinnaur district. In this dance men and women form a semi-circle with a musician in the centre.
Bakayang dance is performed in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. In this dance mostly performed by women, there are two or three rows of dancers facing each other and dance in both forward and backward steps.
Banyangchu dance is performed in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. This dance generally performed by men only is afree-stylee dance on any selected tune.
dance is performed in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. Jatru Kayang generally performed at festivals, is a group dance and is connected with the songs sung at
the ceremonial moments.
Japro dance is performed in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. This dance is performed by both men and women on the occasion of fairs and festivals.
Kayang Mala (Garland) dance
Kayang Mala (Garland) dance is performed inthe Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The Kayang Mala dance is very famous in Himachal.
Dalshone and Cholamba
Dalshone and Cholamba dances are performed in the Kinnaur district.
dance is performed in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Sikri, a women’s dance, is performed during the Suhi Fair held in spring.
Nuala the dance form is performed in the Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. So, dance is mainly performed in Chamba Valley.
It is performed in Chamba district.
The dance form is per by the men of the ‘Gaddi’ tribe (a traditional dance form) i.e. the nomadic shepherd tribe belonging to the Bharmaur area of the Chamba district.
Jhanjar Dance form is performed in the Chamba district. But dance is performed by both men and women on every festive occasion. The beginning is very slow, but gradually rises to an exciting climax.
Thoda Dance is performed in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. It is a dance form of archery. The performance and the quick movements seem to simulate the incidents during a real battle.
Keekali dance form is performed in Kangra, Hamirpur, and Una district, The (kikli) dance is a dance of young girls and is danced playfully in tows.
The girls hold their hands crosswise and rotate fast on their toes by singing folk songs.
Bhangra-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
Bhangra is mainly performed in Kangra, Hamirpur, and Una districts of Himachal Pradesh. Aa dance form of Punjab State that is most famous among Punjabis.
The Bhangra is a male dance that mainly originated in Punjab State and it is also famous in the Una, Kangra, and Hamirpur areas of Himachal Pradesh.
Ghooghati-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
Ghooghati dance is performed in Una, Kangra, and Hamirpur districts.
Ghughati dance is essentially a dance of youngsters.
In it, the dancer stands in a line and the one behind puts his hand on the shoulders of the one in front of him.
Khaydayat and Lamba dances-Folk dances of Himachal Pradesh
Khaydayat and Lamba dances are performed in Una, Kangra, and Hamirpur districts.
The Lamba danceplacess more stress on thefoott movements.
In this,s the dancers withthe first movement put the right foot forward and then the left and then the right again and in the fourth movementrevertedt to their original position.
At the same time, they clap their hands.
It is a vigorous dance.
Boora and Sinh dance
Drodi and Dharwaerni dance
It is from Rota Valley
It is performed in Lahore Valley.
Giving tribute to