Bhaderwah (J&K), Feb 12 (PTI) Dressed in bridal attire, hundreds of women on Monday converged at different temples across the Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate ancient Nag festival ‘Kanchoth’.
The age-old festival, also known as ‘Gouri Tritiya’, is celebrated to commemorate the marriage of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati.
Like Karva Chouth, ‘Kanchoth’ is celebrated by women with enthusiasm and religious fervour in Chenab valley comprising Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts every year during Shukla Paksha of Magh month of Hindu calendar.
Women visited temples to pray for the long life of their husbands. In Karva Chouth, women break their fast when the moon appears at night strictly with vegetarian food but in ‘Kanchoth’, the fast is broken after Gouri Pooja during the day with non-vegetarian dishes.
Married a few months back, Jyoti Baloria from hill-top village Dhara said, “I am excited as this is my first Kanchoth and my mother-in-law and other ladies are teaching me the traditions which I really love to perform.”
“Though Kanchoth is a one-day festival, yet the festivity remains for three days during which ladies go in the neighbourhood to offer Thel’ (respect) to one and all irrespective of religion, creed, caste, age or sex and get in return their blessing,” 27-year-old Anita, also a resident of the Dhara village, said. Shakti Devi (55) said this was her 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 and pamper like a bride.” Celebrations were reported from Dhara, Ghata, Khakhal, Gupt Ganga, Chinnote, Jatani, Katyara, Hanga and Chinchora where women prayed for long lives of their husbands.