Basoa Fair, Himachal

     State : Himachal Pradesh

     Time of Celebration : First day of the month of Baisakh
Basoa Fair

In Kinnaur this festival is known as Bishu. People cook a savory gruel known as Doon on this day and eat it together. In villages which do not celebrate Chaitrual, Bishu marks the beginning of the New Year. On this day the gods are dressed up in special finery. The brass masks of the gods are cleaned and polished. Every fourth year a festival called Bala is celebrated.

On this day old weapons belonging to the deities are brought out and cleaned. The villagers divide themselves into two teams and play-act a mock battle. The winning team returns to the village singing and rejoicing all the way. In the village the deities are taken around in their palanquins. It is believed that evil spirits and ghosts get into the palanquin and increase the weight suddenly. Many dances are also performed with ancient historical weapons.