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Fairs and Festivals


Basoa or Bishu

 
On the first day of the month of Baisakh the aboriginals and the farming folk celebrate the Basoa festival. Three days before the festival, people make little cakes with Kodra (a coarse grain) flour and wrap them up in leaves. After three days the cakes ferment, then on the morning of the festival day people invite the married daughters and other relatives and break and eat these cakes with honey and sweet water flavoured with jaggery. A ritual song is sung on this occasion.

In Chamba some Jataras take place in memory of queen 'Sui'. Chamba city is filled with the sounds of music and dancing on this occasion. The sad songs about the queen Sui revive old memories in the hearts of the people.

In Kinnaur this festival is known as Bishu. People cook a savoury gruel known as Doon on this day and eat it together. In villages which do not celebrate Chaitrual, Bishu marks the beginning of the new year. On this day the gods are dressed up in special finery. The brass masks of the gods are cleaned and polished. Every fourth year a festival called Bala is celebrated. On this day old weapons belonging to the deities are brought out and cleaned. The villagers divide themselves into two teams and play-act a mock battle. The winning team return to the village singing and rejoicing all the way. In the village the deities are taken around in their palanquins. It is believed that evil spirits and ghosts get into the palanquin and increase the weight suddenly. Many dances are also performed with ancient historical weapons.


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