Thursday, August 11, 2022
Himachal Pradesh

Fairs and Festivals



This is the spring time (Falgun) festival of the tribals. In Kinnaur this is connected with Basant Panchami. On this day people shoot arrows at a portrait of Ravana drawn on a paper. The houses are cleaned and the monsoon gods are welcomed by name.

There are many local stories about these ritual shooting of arrows at Ravana's portrait. If an arrow hits home it is taken to be a sign of the victory of gods over demons in the heaven. The blowing of conchshells is forbidden because it might divert the attention of the gods engaged in a brave battle against the demons up in the heavens. Early in the morning, members of a certain family bring wood called Suskar Horing. This is burnt in the evening in a cave. The roof of the cave is covered with lard (foo) and barley is roasted below on the fire. If grains of barley jump up and cling to the roof of the cave, it is taken as a sign of good luck. At  the end of this the group of villagers goes back to their village led by a man with Huri followed by the Lankawalla who is followed by the Kittewalla carrying the 'Doo'. After three rounds of the temple, people try to snatch the 'Doo' which they fed to their animals. In some areas it is a festival of the Savani's and food is served to them for seven days.