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Sitabari Fair is the name given to the annual fair organized in the town of Sitabari in Rajasthan. It is believed that Sitabari is the place of residence of Mata Sita after she was expelled by the society and hence the place holds great religious and mythological significance in Hindu mythology.
In 2013, the Sitabari Fair will be organized on 22nd and 23rd August.
Significance of Sitabari Fair
Sitabari Fair holds special significance for the people of the Sahariya Tribe, who live in the south –eastern part of Rajasthan. Being one of the biggest fair of the community, it is also known as the Kumbh amongst the Sahariya people. People of this community attend the fair in large numbers as it is the venue for the swyambar of young boys and girls of the community.
Sitabari is also known for its various kunds and tanks and many people believe that having a dip in them during the fair is extremely auspicious. The place is also famous for the stream of water named Lakshman Babhuka, which is believed to have erupted, when a thirsty Sita asked her brother-in-law Lakshman for water and he shot an arrow into the ground at this place.
The Swyambar Ceremony
The people of the Sahariya tribe bring their children to this fair to organize their swyambar. The ceremony begins with an eligible boy from the community drops a handkerchief which symbolizes his proposal for a fir girl from the community. If the girl accepts the handkerchief, it symbolizes her acceptance of the boy’s proposal. Once the boy and girl agree to get married, they are made to take seven rounds around the Barnawa tree. After this they seek the blessings of their elders and are declared to be married to each other.
Major Activities Carried Out During the Fair
The Sitabari fair is a two day affair, during which time thousands of people from Rajasthan and other parts of India visit the place. People generally throng around the kunds and tanks scatted in the region, to take a dip in their holy waters. In addition they also offer prayers at the idols of the various deities placed near the kunds.The fair also provides an opportunity for traders and craftsmen to showcase their products and earn some money by selling them. The fair also attracts cattle vendors form different parts of the state as they are able to sell a wide range of cattle during the festival.
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