Tharu’s main pageant ‘Jitiya’ being celebrated amid COVID-19 pandemic

Tharu's major festival 'Jitiya' being celebrated amid COVID-19 pandemic

KATHMANDU: Jitiya, one of many main festivals celebrated by married ladies of Tharu neighborhood, commenced with the observance of the Naha Kha ritual on Wednesday, in Mithila area. Naha Kha means to take meals after taking the ritualistic tub.

Other than the Tharus, ladies from different communities dwelling in concord with the Tharu neighborhood additionally have fun the pageant with fervour. Devotees and revellers are observing ‘Upaas’ or ‘Upabas’ on the second day of the pageant as we speak.

This yr, The Jitiya festivities have been low-key as persons are observing the pageant at their houses as a result of restrictions imposed by the authorities to curb the unfold of the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government has restricted gatherings in open areas for any functions together with spiritual locations to curb the unfold of novel coronavirus within the nation.

File – Ladies providing prayers on the event of Jitiya Pageant in Birgunj, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Picture: Ram Sarraf

Jitiya pageant falls on the seventh, eighth and ninth day of the waning moon (Krishna Pakshya) within the month of Ashwin, tentatively 9 or 10 days earlier than Ghatasthapana (Ashwin Shukla Pratipada).

Normally, ladies are invited to their mother and father’ houses to watch the fasting ritual. Those that do not need brothers or sisters invite their cousins. The pageant is well known by kids and adults with fervour at their maternal houses.

Married ladies who don’t get to go to their parental residence additionally have fun this pageant at residence. There’s a custom that the ladies are dropped at their parental residence a day or two earlier than the pageant begins. The celebrating ladies take meals objects together with squab meat, mutton, rooster and fish that they put together prematurely.

On the primary day of the pageant, ladies observing the quick partake of particular meals comprising overwhelmed rice, curd and ‘amot’ (raisin of dried mango juice), after making choices to the deity Jitamahan and the ancestors. The providing to the deity and ancestors is constructed from mustard cake, molasses and mustard oil. The fasting is noticed from 4:00 am on the day following ‘Naha Kha’ till 8:00 am the subsequent day.

Ladies observing the quick take holy dips in native rivers and ponds within the morning. The devotees and juniors hearken to the story of ‘Jitamahan’ as narrated by senior members of the neighborhood. The oil provided to the deity is given to the offspring who then apply it on their heads and our bodies.

There’s a observe of relations consuming meals comprising bread (roti) constructed from millet flour, curry made out of ‘nuni’ greens and fish, after performing the rituals on the primary day of the pageant. This particular meals goes by the title of ‘Machh Maruwa’ within the native dialect.

Furthermore, the fasting ladies have to watch what is named the ‘Othgan’ ritual which requires them to use some meals on their lips early within the morning earlier than the cawing of crows.

Ladies performing the Othgan ritual normally take curd and overwhelmed rice. Subsequently, their quick begins which may be very powerful in itself. It’s carried out on Ashwin Krishna Ashtami, the eighth day of the waning moon within the month of Ashwin or Asoj as per the lunar calendar, in line with Pundit Kalikant Jha.

Married folks observe Jitiya quick wishing for the longevity of kids, to be blessed with happiness and peace within the household. The pageant carries spiritual, cultural and tantric significance, as per the believers.

Jitiya highlights the cultural function and significance of ladies in Tarai area. The pageant that’s noticed within the Pitri Paksha (particular interval devoted to the ancestors) additionally affords pinda (ball of cooked rice or barley flour) to the departed souls.

Jitiya quick is noticed as a scared ritual. There stays a strict cultural perception that if a lady observing the quick burps, coughs or mistakenly bites the tongue, her quick is believed to have been unsuccessful and she or he is forbidden from observing this quick perpetually in her life.

A fantasy related to this pageant is that when there was a king known as Shalivahan. Someday, a demon took away seven sons of a lady and it was the king who introduced again her sons from the captivity of the demon. Since then, the very girl in gratitude to the king began observing the pageant, renaming the king as Jitamahan.

Compiled by Suresh Chaudhary

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