Shimla India
Given here is information on Rhyali festival of Shimla city of India.

Rhyali Festival

Celebrated during the rainy season in Shimla, Rhyali festival is of much importance over here. Since most people here depend on agriculture to earn their livelihood, the rains are an absolute must. Rhyali festival is celebrated to keep the rain Gods happy so that the agricultural produce does not get affected. The Rhyali festival is celebrated during the first day of the month of Shravana (July). This is a formal announcement of the arrival of the monsoons in Shimla.

The traditional ceremony begins with the sowing of seeds of five to seven different crops like wheat, barley, etc. some ten days before the official date of the celebration. The head of a family or a priest usually does this ritual. These seeds are sown in a small basket that is filled with earth and is kept near the household or a place where the idols of Gods are kept.

A day before the actual celebration a mock wedding takes place that symbolizes the holy marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Clay statues of the Gods are placed near the saplings. The place is cleaned spic and span and offerings like fruits and flowers are kept near the idols. The priest chants prayers and prays that the greenery and fertility of the fields never goes away. This is followed by some more rituals after which the ceremony finally ends.