Ukhyang - Festival Of Flowers - Kinnaur - सापनी का ‘उख्यांग’- किन्नौर का फूलों का मेला
Culture,  Himachal Pradesh

Sapni Ukhyang – The Festival of Flowers in Sapni Village, Kinnaur

Celebrating Ukhyang- the Festival of Flowers- in Sapni village of Kinnaur, as fall sets in

Storyteller: Adit Negi
Village Kupa, Kamru Panchayat, District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Read this story in Hindi

Growing up, my maternal village Sapni had always fascinated me, maybe because over the years I had seldom visited it. This time around my longstanding desire took me there and gave me the opportunity to witness one of the famous festivals of that village, called Ukhyang, in its entirety.

Ukhyang - Festival Of Flowers - Kinnaur - सापनी का ‘उख्यांग’- किन्नौर का फूलों का मेला
A dance ritual (Nagess Kayang) being performed by the people of Sapni 

Ukhyang, or the festival of flowers, is celebrated across the Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh in the month of September, marking the full bloom of flowers, especially the rare wild flowers (like the Brahmakamal or the Saussurea obvolata and Delphinium) to be found on high alpine slopes, just before fall. It’s not just another seasonal festival for us, but a grand celebration to acknowledge the blessings of nature and our local deities. Although the core elements of this festival might be common across Kinnaur, every village has its unique way of celebrating it. And Sapni, by far, has been the closest to my heart, maybe because this time I was living the stories I had heard from my mother and other relatives. 

Ukhyang - Festival Of Flowers - Kinnaur - सापनी का ‘उख्यांग’- किन्नौर का फूलों का मेला
Kids playing traditional instruments in between our Folk Dance (Kayang)

Journeying through this festival has been a fun and a warm experience. In other villages in Kinnaur, it is a two-day affair but here it goes on for five days. From the highlands of the village to the main ‘Santhang’- village temple, the deities and their blessings are spread across the mountains like wildflowers. And the local groove is as graceful as the people I have interacted with. This film is my attempt to capture the vibrant joy and my experience of it. 

Ukhyang - Festival Of Flowers - Kinnaur - सापनी का ‘उख्यांग’- किन्नौर का फूलों का मेला
Devi-Devtas(local deities) dancing along with the locals

Meet the storyteller

Adit Negi
Adit Negi
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Adit Negi is a post graduate in Film Studies from Ambedkar University. Having lived most of his young life in the cities of the ‘plains’, he is making his way forward in life by going back to his village Kupa (Kamru) in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, where he has been living now for the past 3 years. In his quest to engage with the rich cultural heritage of this region, he has chosen to be physically present and live and learn in the moment.

अदित नेगी ने अंबेडकर यूनिवर्सिटी से फिल्म स्टडीज में पोस्ट ग्रेजुएशन किया हैं। अपना अधिकांश युवा जीवन 'मैदानी' क्षेत्र के शहरों में बिताने के बाद, वह हिमाचल प्रदेश के किन्नौर जिले में अपने गांव कूपा (कामरू) वापस जा, वहां पिछले 3 वर्ष से रह रहे हैं। इस क्षेत्र की समृद्ध सांस्कृतिक विरासत के साथ रूबरू हो, वह अपने गांव में रहकर सीखने और खोज करने में अपने आगे की दिशा ढूंड रहा है।

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