The festivals of Holi and Nauroz were Thursday celebrated across Jammu and Kashmir with fervour and gaiety.
Nauroz marks the onset of spring and is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the world.
People in Kashmir usually undertake plantation on this day, while people expect light to moderate rains to take place on the festive occasion. Incidentally, Kashmir areas Thursday witnessed light rains.
The traditional Nauroz dish in Kashmir is ‘nadur’ (lotus stem) and fish, apart from dried turnip cooked with chicken.
On the day of Nauroz, people traditionally prefer to go for leech therapy for treatment of various ailments.
Celebrated almost across Central Asia, Nauroz is part of Kashmir’s culture.
According to historians, with the coming of spiritual personalities like Shah-i-Hamdan (RA), BulBul Shah (RA), Mir Shamsuddin Iraqi (RA) and others, Kashmir came to be known as the Persia of the East—Iran-e-Sageer—that had very close links with Central Asia and the Middle East through the traditional Silk Route.
“As Kashmir came under the influence of cultural, economic and industrial growth in the Central Asian region, people adopted many customs and new traditions which are now deeply rooted in generations. These include celebration of Nauroz as well,” said a historian.
Meanwhile, the festival of colours—Holi—was celebrated Thursday with traditional fervour and gaiety across Jammu and Kashmir.
Members of the Hindu community celebrated the festival by splashing colours on their family and friends.
Muslims also visited the Hindu neighbours and greeted them. They also exchanged and distributed sweets.
Shopkeepers in Maharaja Bazaar in Srinagar—famous for selling festival celebration products—had announced rebate on products mostly used on the occasion.
Many tourists also celebrated Holi in Kashmir.
The celebrations were also held at famed Mughal Gardens in Srinagar, with tourists enjoying music amid beautiful scenes of the Dal Lake.
In Jammu, various political and social organisations and several educational institutions celebrated the festival with gaiety.
The markets in the winter capital also wore a festive look, while temples and residential houses were decorated with floral buntings.
Holi celebrations, however, were not held at Raj Bhavan this year “as a mark of respect for CRPF personnel killed in Pulwama suicide bomb attack in February this year”, according to a Raj Bhavan spokesman.