Chamba, July 29 (IANS) Minjar Fair, a Hindu fair that symbolises the blossoming of maize, began in this Himachal Pradesh town here Sunday.
State assembly speaker Tulsi Ram inaugurated the week-long fair by hoisting the 'Minjar' flag at a ground in Chamba.
Earlier, people of the area, mainly farmers, gathered at the historic Lakshmi Narayan and Raghuvira temples and offered holy 'minjars' (silk tassels that glow like maize blossoms).
The fair is associated with monsoon in which the farmers pray for heavy rain for a good harvest. The fair will conclude with the immersion of minjars in the Ravi river.
The fair is believed to have first started in the 10th century to mark the victory of king Sahila Varma over the king of Kangra. The defeated king had presented blossoms of maize and paddy to Varma.
Another tale has it that a sage in the Champavati temple on the banks of the Ravi performed a week-long 'yajna' that changed the course of the river. This enabled the people to visit the Hari Rai temple across the river.
During the fair, people adorn themselves with 'minjars' on their colourful costumes and pray for timely rain and a bumper crop. However, embroidery on the 'minjars' is done mostly by Muslims.