Rajouri: The festival of Holi begins with traditional ‘Bhairon’ procession at Rajouri. The people of Rajouri city celebrate Holi festival for seven days for the last several years and it begins with the procession of ‘ Bhairon Devta’ which is organised every alternative day seven days before Holi.
The man who plays ‘Bhairon’ is painted with black colour and a turban with long tail and a traditional ‘Chimta’ (tong) in hand.
‘Bhairon’ starts his procession from Bhairon Mandir near Sanatan Dharam Sabha and after passing through various bazaars in the old town, his journey culminates at Bhairon Mandir in Nabhan Mohalla where he prays before ‘Bhairon Devta’ to forgive him for any mistake during the procession.
The procession is followed by drum beaters and hundreds of youth from both the communities. It takes more than 6 hours each day to complete the procession.
During procession ‘Bhairon’ tries to catch the youth and if anybody is caught he has to put some money in his mouth to get himself freed. If anybody does not have any money he is also set free by the ‘Bhairon’.
People of the old town and followers of ‘Bhairon’ believe that it wards off bad omen. Legend has it that the crops will fail if the procession is not taken it. Locals say that they have experimented with the practice and crops have infact failed every year the procession was not taken out.