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Gotsi or Gochi Fair, Himachal






     State : Himachal Pradesh

     Time of Celebration : Month of February
Gotsi or Gochi Fair


Gotsi or Gochi, celebrated in the month of February, is one of the prominent festivals of Himachal Pradesh. It is celebrated by the members of those houses, who have been blessed with a baby boy in the past year. The people gather in these houses, and drink a sort of wine named chhang. A special cake made from mixed flour is cooked on this occasion, and is placed in a platter. This platter is taken to the deity by four men. The platter is accompanied by a young unmarried girl dressed up in ceremonial robes, and she carries a vessel of chhang wine in her hands.

This girl is followed by two men, one carrying a lighted torch and the other a bunch of pine branches bundled in sheepskin. The procession of devotees consisting of the mothers of sons is led by the woman who has borne her first son. Then, the sheepskin, which is suspended from the branches of a tree, is shot with an arrow. The men and women throw snowballs at each other on their way home. People on this occasion enjoy themselves by drinking wine, beating drums and dancing.