Age-old Kanchoth festival celebrated across J&K's Chenab valley

·2-min read

Bhaderwah (J&K), Feb 14 (PTI) The ancient Kanchoth festival, a symbol of ancient Nag culture, was observed with religious fervour and gaiety across Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

The festival is celebrated by locals, mainly Nag followers who believe that on this day of Gouri Tritiya, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married and the latter insisted on a throne made of snow as her wedding gift.

Thus, snow during the festival is considered a good omen.

Like 'Karva Chouth' in other parts of the country, Kanchoth or Gauri–Tritiya, the festival is celebrated with enthusiasm across Chenab valley every year during the 'Shukla Paksha of Magh month' in January or February.

Women clad in crisp new elegant bridal suits and donning matching jewellery with henna-painted hands pray for the long lives of their spouses, the locals said, adding the occasion has great significance in the life of every married woman who prays for the long and healthy life of their husbands.

'I am super excited as this is my first 'Kanchoth' since I got married a few months back and my mother-in-law and other elderly women of the village are teaching me the traditions which I am really loving to perform,' Anita Charak, a resident of Hanga village, said.

During the three-day long festival, married women go in the neighbourhood to offer 'Thel' (respect) to one and all irrespective of religion, creed and caste, age and gender and get in return their blessing 'Suhagan Bho' (Live long your husband).

'Kanchoth gives us a different kind of high as on this day, our mother-in-law seeks blessings from us by touching our feet and we get the liberty to enjoy as following the tradition husbands manage the kitchen for three days,' Durga Devi (33) said.

Bala Devi (72) said this was her 47th 'Kanchoth'.

'I wait for this beautiful festival every year. I hope coming generations will not forget their rich tradition and preserve the beauty of this ancient Nag festival,' Devi said. PTI CORR TAS HDA