Dressed in bridal outfits, hundreds of women converged at different temples here today to celebrate ancient Nag Festival ‘Kanchoth’ also popular as ‘Gouri Tritiya’ in Chenab region, especially in Bhaderwah valley.
According to a local myth the festival commemorates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Devi Parvati.
The festival is one of the revered events for the followers of Nag culture who believe that on this day of Gouri Tritiya, God Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married and the latter insisted on a throne made of snow as her wedding gift.
Thus, snowfall during the festival is considered as a good omen.
Like Karva Chouth is celebrated in other parts of the country, Kanchoth remains a local festival of women in Chenab region. Click here to watch video
On this day women pray for long life of their husbands.
Married a few months back, Jyoti Baloria from hill top village Dhara said: “I am excited as for me this is my first Kanchoth and my mother-in-law and other ladies are guiding me regarding the rituals which I really love to perform.”
“Kanchoth festival, though is of one day yet festivities remains for three days during which ladies go in the neighborhood to offer ‘Thel’ (respect) to one and all irrespective of religion, creed, caste, age or sex and get blessings in return,” said Anita, 27, of Dhara village.
Shakti Devi, 55, said: “This is my 35th Kanchoth and I still feel excited like I was during my first experience. We eagerly wait for this festival as on this day irrespective of our age, we get an opportunity to dress-up like a bride. I hope the coming generations will not forget their rich tradition.”
Main programmes were reported from Dhara, Ghata, Khakhal, Gupt Ganga, Chinnote, Jatani, Katyara, Hanga and Chinchora where women prayed for long lives for their husbands.