Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav created stir after he took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi by appealing to Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to stop promoting the donkeys in Gujarat. Of course, PM Modi hit back saying that he takes inspiration from the donkeys too. Either way, donkeys of Gujarat made headlines during the assembly elections campaign.
However, did you know about the donkey mela (fair) of Uttar Pradesh? Yes, Donkeys are held in high regard in this extravagant donkey fair in what is widely known as ‘Gardhabh Mela’. The fair is all set to begin at Sheetala Devi Dham in Kaushambi. what happens during this traditional fair you ask?
As per a report in Hindustan Times, Donkeys are fed properly and even decorated before being sold to traders who gather at the fair from across the country including. Apart from donkeys, mules and horses are also sold to different traders. The report further said that the fair is organised with joint efforts of washermen and priests in the ‘Chaitra’ month.
It also apparently has religious significance. People who gather at the fair pray to the Donkeys and express their wishes by feeding them with vegetables and milk if they get what they had desired for. Additionally, it is also believed that it was an auspicious festival to fix marriages. A number of people believe that the Donkeys bless them and fulfill their demand if they were pleased with their devotees’ treatment towards them.
The donkeys and other animals sold in this fair cost thousand of rupees but have hoards of buyers who are willing to shell out the required amount.