The Sairi Festival is mainly a festival of the beautiful north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Every year, it is observed on the first day of the month of Ashwin, as per the traditional Hindu calendar, which as per the English Gregorian calendar, falls somewhere in the month of September or October. This year in 2017, the Sairi Festival of Himachal Pradesh will be observed on the 17th of September.
It is mainly an agricultural aspect centric festival observed by communities in Himachal Pradesh, but also has the purpose of keeping people of the community united and letting prosperity increase tenfold. The main celebrations start once the maize crops of the season are ready to be harvested. On this day specially, local people prepare a list of special dishes, out of which the popular ones include Sweet Bhatore, as well as Pakodis—which are actually dumplings made out of ground urad daal.
When it comes to some of the customs of this festival, one famous one is the custom of young men and women applying henna on their palms as well as soles of the feet. This is also known as seur.
Another striking feature of the Sairi Festival includes the fact that the barbers of the villages at night can be seen decorating a huge lemon with rice, vermilion (sindoor) and kumkum. Once the decorations are done, the barbers then put these lemons into baskets, decorating those with a variety of beautiful flowers as well as coconuts.
Soon after that, the villagers carry these brand-new decorated baskets with themselves and take them to different villages from one door to another. People of the communities wait for these baskets the whole time, and once they get it, they put more flowers, money, as well as sweets in it, to make sure that it is ready for and as an offering.