Winter Carnival Kicks Off in Manali, India

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And in northern India an annual winter carnival is underway this week. held in the town of Manali, there's everything from dancing, a fashion show and beauty pageant. Let’s take a look.

A five-day long annual winter carnival begins in here in Manali, in India’s northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

The states chief minister opened the carnival says. He says it’s an important event for promoting tourism in the region.

[Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh]:
"Most of the tourists in Himachal Pradesh come with the religious view and religious tourism is the most important one. I feel that Manali's carnival includes all these things.”

More than 120 groups from all over India have gathered.

They are competing in various activities including tableau, folk dance, a winter queen contest and a fashion show.

[Jalpa Parmar, Carnival Participant]:
"The theme of our tableau is Gujarat's culture, which we will be presenting here. We have come to Manali for the first time but we all have found Manali is very beautiful.”

Also enjoying the spectacle are foreign tourists who love what they see.

[Dhruv Cusins, British Tourist]:
"This festival is quite amazing. I love Hadimba Temple and the beautiful surroundings, the pine trees. Temple in itself is very, very beautiful and then with all color, all the different groups from around the country, I am absolutely stunned. It's very, very beautiful."

The first winter carnival kicked off in Manali in 1977.