STATE TIMES NEWS BHADARWAH: To observe age-old tradition and to take blessings of Lord Shiva and Parvati while celebrating ‘Kanchouth’ festival, despite inclement weather women folk of Bhadarwah and it’s adjoining areas were seen marching towards their respective Temples and water bodies early morning. The main programmes were reported from Kotli, Ghata , Khakhal, Gupt Ganga, Chinote, Chinchora and other Temples of the area. Kanchouth is celebrated in hilly Bhadarwah area. According to local belief, on this day of Gouri tithya, lord shiva and Parvati got married and Parvati insisted for throne made of snow as wedding gift from lord Shiva,that’s why snow during Kanchouth festival is considered as a good omen. The festival is celebrated by women to pray for long-life of their husbands. According to a woman Seva Devi of Kotli Bhadarwah, on the day of Kanchouth fast is broken after Gouri Pooja during the day itself. To celebrate this occasion with full of tradition, women dressed in their best suits(mostly red) and ornaments irrespective of their ages gathered at their nearby water bodies, where they perform Gouri pooja and then sing traditional Ghurai and dance one by one. Women also offer ‘Thel’ (respect) to one and all, irrespective of creed and caste; age and sex and get in return their blessing ‘Suhagan Bho’ (Live long your husband). On the occasion, the ladies are supposed to take food in every house they visit. In some cases it so happens that they have to take their meals in scores of houses each day. In the night ladies gather, sing Ghurai(Bhajan) and dance on the traditional tunes. During these three days the kitchen is managed by husbands. While speaking to Media some women including Rekha Kour, Aruna Kour and Seva Devi informed, “this festival is celebrated as anniversary of Shiv-Parvati Marriage and we fast today to take Blessings of Shiv-Parvati and seek long life of our husbands.” Locals have been demanding since several years that this unique and most colorful festival symbolizing ancient Nag culture should be included in the tourism calendar by Bhadarwah Development Authority and Tourism department simultaneously.
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