Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), May 29 (ANI): Thousands of devotees converged to celebrate the traditional 'Kahika Fair' in Shirar village, near Himachal Pradesh's Kullu town on Friday.
Sounds of hymns in the air marked the beginning of the festival in the village that was adorned with colourful canopies.
An important ritual observed during the festival is a mock sacrificial ceremony of a member of Naur (a tribe) and getting his life back from the gods.
"It is a common belief that during the festival all gods and goddesses come under a tree and an arrow is shot in the air. The arrow is considered so powerful that it takes the life of the Naur and he is declared dead," said Rajesh Sharma, a local.
"Then the gods and goddesses use their prowess to give life to the dead Naur," he added.
The natives here believe that the prayers performed during the festival sanctify the village and purify the souls of the people participating in it.
"The rituals performed during the Kahika festival purify the area and shuns evil spirits and that is why the sacrifice of the Naur's life is performed and he comes back to life," said Arun Kumar, a local.
Kumar appeared confident that the festival would bring prosperity in the village.
"This year the Naur-Megha-Yajna (a ritual performed in which a person from the Naur tribe is declared dead and is brought back to life by observing ceremonial prayers) was conducted peacefully and it will bring happiness and prosperity among us," said Arun Kumar. (ANI)