In the wake of the Covid-19pandemic, the annual Ambubachi Mela in Assam will not be organised this year.
The fair is organised from 21st to 25th June, every year.
The festival marks the annual menstruation of the presiding Goddess in the Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam.
The temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the yoni(female genital) symbolised by a rock.
Kamakhya is one of 51shakti peethas or holy sites for the followers of the Shakti cult, each representing a body part of the Sati, Lord Shiva’s companion.
The temple is situated on the Nilachal Hills, whose northern face slopes down to the Brahmaputra river.
According to the legends, it was built by the demon king Narakasura but records are available only from 1565 when Koch king Naranarayana rebuilt the temple.
Cultural: The ritualistic fair celebrates the Goddess’ period due to which tabooassociated with menstruation is less in Assam compared to other parts of India.
The attainment of womanhood of girls in Assam is celebrated with a ritual called Tuloni Biya, meaning small wedding.
Social: The fair is also an occasion to promote menstrual hygiene among the visitors through the use of sanitary pads.
Financial: Assam records a footfall of at least 5 lakh devotees during the fair mainly from West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. Foreigners also visit which boost the state tourism and the revenues associated.