festival, marking the culmination of the cold season, is celebrated
with zest every where. Children go from door to door to collect subscriptions
for the community bonfires. When the fires are lit at night, the young and old
gather round the flaming fires throwing parched grain, coins and other offerings
into these with gusto. Gay dancing at the venues goes on for hours.
On the occasion of the Holi
festival, Muslims and Sikhs join Hindus in spraying
friends with pails of coloured water. This spring festival, replete with
revelry, last three days in the cities and villages.
During Navratri, Jammu is crowded with pilgrims on the way to
from the shrine. The city wears a festive look, with pilgrims carrying
staves and wearing mauli (yellow and red thread) garlands and
Melas are held in the city and principal towns on
Baisakhi or New year day.
Bhangra and other dances rendered by troupes are enjoyed by the people.
This festival is celebrated by the people
of Jammu. Processions are
taken out - the centre of attention being tableaux, presenting scenes
from the Epic, Ramayana.
It is a three-day festival in Jammu and is celebrated with éclat at
Purmandal, Billavar and Jhandi. The shrine of Shiv Khori is visited by pilgrims
on this occasion.
Diwali is a gay occasion in the Province, as
in rest of India.
The Gurpurabs, especially Guru Ravi Das's birthday is celebrated
with great enthusiasm in Jammu city. Public meetings follow Kirtans and
It is an interesting festival observed in Bhadarwah and Kishtwar in the
months of Chaitra (March-April). Springs and baulis receive a spring-cleaning
and this is followed on the next day by worship of nagas (serpents), to whom
rice and floral offerings are made.
Samkrant or the beginning of a month (in
Bikrami era) is regarded as a sacred day by Hindus. Women bathe in rivers and
observe a day's fast.
Likewise, Guru Nanak's birthday, Navroz, Id, Buddha Jayanti
, Mahavir Jayanti , Gandhi Jayanti and Christmas are also celebrated here as in other parts of the
country, providing opportunities for the expression of good
fellowship among various communities and castes.