It is believed that the Ahirs came to Gujarat from Sind, and
settled as farmers in Kachchh and at Morvi in Saurashtra, where they mixed
with other tribes. Baggy trousers and 'Kehdiyun are worn by the men,
together with a white loosely wound headcloth; the women dress like the
Rabaris, with additional heavy silver nose rings.
The children's bright 'Topis', or skullcaps, overlaid with neat fragments of mirrors, are like those common in Pakistan. During Diwali, Ahirs lead their cattle through the streets to be fed by other local communities, which bestows merit on the giver and is good for Karma (deeds).
The Ahir are descendants of Lord Krishna who lived in Gokul, Mathura a thousand years ago. Now they are spread over north and northwestern India. There are four main types of Ahir; they are the Prantharia, the Machhoya, the Boureecha and the Sorathia. These communities are mainly of farmers who sell milk and ghee. Some of them have entered other professions like transport and salt manufacture.
Ahir's festivals are associated with worship of Gods and
Goddesses in folk life with pujs, dance, Nritya and songs and recitals of
scriptures called great 'Sangeet' and 'Mantras'. Folk music and
instruments and dances express lyrical emotions, heroic exploits of the
brave and pursuits of the wise unique to each region.
Ahirs perform the Dandiya Rass with forwards, reverse, turning movements of steps and body. Garbo and Garbi folk dances are both connected with the Navaratri festival. Women perform Garbo with men joining in sometimes, whereas men perform Garbi with songs and rhythmic movement in measured steps. Garbi or Rass does not have a variety of dances and is mostly held on religious festivals such as Janamashtmi, Jalzilni Ekadashi. The tradition of folk festivals is related to the changing seasons.
Prathiya Ahirs of Sumresar in Bhuj have Bajra Rotla, Saag, Gheo, Chaas, and a lot of Ghee Gor and Rotla. Kadhi and Khichadi are also a must. Their "Lagan Bhonu" or wedding feast consists of Laddoo, Mohanthal, Ganthis, Puri, Bundi and Peda. At marriages the Ahirs of Nirona serve Bajra rotla, Lapsi, Laddoo, Saag, Dal, Bhat, and Mug Khichadi.
Ahirs believe in Kuldevis and Kuldevtas like Jamaai and Machchhu Aai. The worship of Naag is the oldest, even earlier to the Vedic period. There are many shrines of Naagdada in Gujarat. Bhujang Dev in Bhuj is about 1,000 years old. Ahirs are the worshippers of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and other Gods of Brahmanic pantheon. There favourite deities are Goddess Bhavani and Lord Krishna since they claim to be descendants of cowherds who were Krishna's companions. The major festivals of Ahirs in Nirona are Satam Atam, Holi, Diwali, and Janamashtmi. They believe in Krishna and also in Mekan Dada at Akhada in Morja near Vithon in Nakhatrana.