Somnath Fair or Masi Fair is held every year in the small village of Masi, located in Ranikhet tehsil of Almora district in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. The fair is held at Someshwar Mahadev Temple.
How is Somnath Fair celebrated?
One of the main features of Somnath Fair is visiting the banks of Ramganga beside Someshwar Temple and participating in throwing stones in the river. The competition of throwing the stones and splashing the water is held between the two pillars of Palipachau- Masiwal and Kanudiya.
The people from the two regions get ready with stones in hand and the competition starts with music and songs. Both the team race towards the finish line, upon reaching on which they throw the stone in the river. The team that reaches the finish line first and throws the stone in the river is declared as the winner. The splashed water droplets are considered to be auspicious and people try to reach out for those droplets of water.
When is Somnath Fair celebrated?
Somnath Fair starts on the last Sunday of the month of Baisakh. On the first day, the fair is known as Saltiya Mela.
Significance of Somnath Fair
Somnath Fair used to be an important religious and commercial fair of this region. The fair was held for 8-10 days where along with regional products, cattle especially oxen were traded. Like many other fairs, the commercial aspect of Somnath Fair has lost its significance with modern developments taking place in these regions and the low interest of people. The duration of the fair has shrunk to 2-3 days.