Kullu, December 31
With the advent of New Year, Manali will be hosting the Winter Carnival from January 2 to 6. The annual fest is organised to attract tourists to Kullu and Manali during the off-season, promote folk culture and provide a platform to local artistes and those from other states.
Over the years, despite many ups and downs, the tradition of organising the event in one form or the other has continued. In order to expand it, the then Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal gave the Winter Carnival the status of a state-level festival in 1999 while it became a national event in 2011.
Event dates back to 1970s
The main purpose of the carnival in 1970s was to promote winter sports. Harnam Singh, the then director of the mountaineering institute in Manali, played an important role in starting this event. — Shyam Sunder Sharma, Manali resident
Meanwhile, this time, Education and Culture Minister Govind Singh Thakur is making efforts to take the festival to a new level. Special emphasis is being laid on creating awareness among common people and tourists about social issues such as cleanliness, environmental protection and the Motor Vehicles Act, etc. Each day, there will be a different theme on topics such as abstaining from drugs, maintaining cleanliness, saving daughters and environment protection, etc. Moreover, the Forest Department has also made preparations to plant 5,000 saplings during the carnival.