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Aathon Festival In Uttarakhand – Sathon Aanthon Vrat

Aathon festival, also known as Sathon Aanthon Vrat, is mainly observed in the Soar valley of Pithoragarh and adjoining areas of western Nepal. In 2024, Aathon is from September 10 to September 12. The vrat and festival observed in Bhadrapad month is dedicated to Shiva and Goddess Parvati – Maheswar and Gaura. The three-day festival begins on the Shukla Paksha Saptami day in Bhadrapad month.

Aathon is observed for the welfare of the family and for good harvest. It is one of oldest forms of Gaura Worship in the country.

The main ritual includes tying of ‘dor’ on the right hand by women – a sacred thread. This thread is tied till the next Aathon Festival. Seeds of five grains and fruits are offered to Goddess Gaura for prosperity of the family.

On the Ashtami day, women in the village offer prayers before the murtis of Gaura and Maheshwar – the murtis are made by the men of the village.

On the navami day, married women do prayers to Dub Dhaga or Mangalsutra.

At the end of the festival, all the seeds and fruits used in the prayers as offering to the Goddess is thrown in a field. This is collected as Prasad by devotees.