J&K Kanchoth Festival

Recently, people of Bhaderwah celebrated the ancient Kanchoth festival, which is a symbol of ancient Nag culture.

About Kanchoth festival

  • The festival was celebrated amid braving heavy snowfall and extreme cold wave conditions.
  • Local residents including women got dressed in traditional fineries and observed fast. They then thronged temples for offering prayers. They hoped that the deity can help end the covid-19 pandemic.
  • This age-old festival is celebrated by Hindus, specifically Nag followers.
  • Nag followers believe that, on this day of Gouri tritiya, Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati got married. Goddess Parvati asked for a throne made of snow as her wedding gift. Thus, snowfall during the festival is considered a good omen.

Functions at Jatanai Village

One of the main functions of festival was observed at hill top Jatanai village in Chinchora panchayat. It is 30 km from Bhaderwah. At the function, women of all ages were clad in bridal costumes. They came out in large numbers wading through snow to reach the nearby temple for celebrating the festival.

Celebrations at other places

Apart from Bhaderwah (Mini Kashmir of India), celebrations were reported from Kotli, Ghata, Mathola, Gupt Ganga, Khakhal, Kapra, Chinnote, Bheja, Bhalra, Chinchora and other temples of the area. Festival was celebrated by married women for praying long life of their husband.

How long is this festival celebrated?

The festival is observed for three days. During this period, married women go in neighbourhood for offering ‘Thel’ (respect) to one and all irrespective of religion, age, creed & caste, and gender. In return, they get their blessing of ‘Suhagan Bho’ (wish your husband a long life).

Significance of the festival

This day is considered pious for married women. They pray to goddess Gauri for long and healthy life of her husband. Bridal suits, Bangles, bindis, sindur, and mehndi’ are considered sanctimonious and are offered to the goddess. These are worn by the fasting women.

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