The fairs of the valley portray rich cultural heritage of the valley. These fairs carry enormous religious worth and preserve a rich heritage native's belief in divine powers.
During these fairs, the spirit of Manali is visible on the faces of gay people. These simple rural folks take delight in songs, dances, laughter and celebration. The people are in a happy and festive mood. They visit their relatives to greet them. On the day of fair the guests are heartily welcomed and the hosts feel great honour in serving them with food and drinks. For local people, it is time to relax and enjoy with their friends and relatives.
Phalgun month (mid-February and mid-March) marks the beginning of fairs and festivals in the valley. Fair of Phagli is held between mid-February to mid- March. The fair depicts victory of sages Manu and Shandalya over demon Tundi Raksh. From this day onwards, there are various fairs taking place at almost every village.
Nowadays, these fairs also have economic importance besides religious significance. During these fairs, people buy and sell various articles of basic necessity. Even as the years have passed, people still celebrate these fairs with full enthusiasm and exuberance as it used to be in the good old days.
History of Banjar Fair
This is the biggest fair of Banjar Valley and is held on the 2nd of Jyestha (local month, which falls between second half of May and first half of June) every year. This fair is held in Baggi village of Banjar. It is dedicated to Shringa Rishi, the chief deity of Banjar. Several other deities as well participate in this 4 day long fair.A day before the fair starts, the idol of Shringa Rishi is carried to his original abode "Skeeran Jot" in a palanquin. People participate in the procession starving themselves (a form of penance) and follow the deity barefoot. Next evening he is brought back to Banjar with great pomp and show. Thereafter, all of the deities meet.Being the main festival of Banjar, the fair is celebrated with great fervor. The main attraction of this fair is the day and night 'Seraji Natti' (folk dance of Banjar), performed by the rural people. Since last few years, masses of tourists have been coming to see the fair.Himachal Pradesh government has declared Banjar fair as a state level event