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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mukhe Bhaat

The word “Mukhe” means mouth and “Bhaat” means rice it literally mean the feeding of first grain to the baby. This ceremony is very important and it followed in the north and also in other parts but with different name.

This ceremony is done on the 6th or 8th month for a boy child and on 5th, 7th or 9th month for a girl child. Some does this ceremony at temple and some at home. Friends and relatives are invited. The priest does the homa or a holy fire and chant mantras for the prosperity, happiness and good health for the child and to kill evils around him and then on the same day the name is given to the child which is known as Namkaran.

After the ceremony is over rice pudding which is made up of rice and milk is fed by the mother’s brother to the child.
Rice pudding fed by mother's brother

And many interesting and fun rituals are done. In one ritual 5 things are kept in front of the child which symbolises different aspiration. Gold- wealth, Pen- Wisdom, Books- Knowledge, Soil- Property, Food- love for food and then child is encouraged to go for those things. Whichever item baby picks up first it is said to be in future with him.


Holi is a festival of colours which is celebrated in the month of March. The celebration starts with the tradition of burning Holika known as Holika Dahan, which is religiously followed by several states of India specially in north. Just a night before the holi a huge bonfire is lit and people fling cow dungs into the fire and shouts saying “Holi-hai! Holi-hai!”
Holika Dahan
Story behind the Holika Dahan: Holika was sister of king hirankashyap.To become a great man the king worshipped Lord Brahma for many years. After atonement, lord brahma was very impressed and gave him blessings and also granted the wishes of the king.
The wishes was: He will not be killed by human or animal.
                               He will not die in day or at night.
                              He will not die by weapons.
                              He will not die in land, sea or air.
                              He will not die outside or inside in the house.
Now as his wishes were granted he was saved by the blessings from being killed easily. Taking this as an advantage he started forcing people of his kingdom to preach him as a god. Excepting his own son Prahlad who use to worship Lord Vishnu, everyone other obeyed.

The king was very angry with his son so he decided of killing him. He asked his sister Holika to sit in fire and make prahlad to sit in her lap. Holika was blessed with a gift, that she will not be affected by fire. The king thought that prahlad will be burnt but as he kept on chanting the name of lord Vishnu. He survived and Holika was burnt to death. It signifies the victory of good over evil.
So Holika dahan is celebrated as a success of devotee that anybody however great or powerful, cannot harm a true devotee and who will torture the god’s devotee will be reduced to ashes.

There is also a story of Radha Krishna: Krishna is known to be very powerful and mischievous and playful. As a child one day Krishna goes to her mother Yasodha and ask “why I am dark and radha is fair?” this is injustice to him and he started crying at his high pitch so mother while consoling asked him put colour on radha’s face to make her like him. Now the naughty Krishna heeds towards her beloved Radha and other gopis to apply colour using water jets known as Pichkaris.
Krishna and Radha playing holi
In this way pichkaris got popularity and till now colours and pichkaris are used in holi to express their love and affection towards each other.
Holi is an important festival as on this day people forget about the quarrel and mix with all freely.
Holi have different regional name like Hola Mahalla, Rang panchami, basant utsav, Dol Purnima, Dulandi holi.
children playing with  pichkaris.

Holi Celebration: On this day, the enthusiasm of people reaches its peak and the festival is celebrated with a great joy. Children go about the street and throw water balloons and ,water colours with their Pichkaries and hide themselves to save by others balloon attack. Young boys make small parties, sing and dance. Everywhere special Thandai is made without which the holi is incomplete. Thandai is like refreshment drink when people get exhausted throwing each other in the pool of coloured water a glass it offers instant energy and after drinking the bhang thandai the world seems different, some becomes very happy and some turns depressed as hell. One should not over drinking this bhang thandai, it may not prove good.
Bhaang Thandai
Sweets like Gujiyas, Rossogulla and Laddu are made and in the evening people visit their relatives and offer sweets.
Sweets: Gulab Jamun, Rossogulla.


Jamai shasthi
India is a land of cultural diversity. Every states have their own can find the different types of  food habits, clothes, rituals and festivals. There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India.Hindus,specially bengali are the one who love to adore their relationship by celebrating special festival and rituals.
One of the festival celebrated by them is Jamai Shasthi. Jamai means “Son in law” and Shasthi means “ The sixth day of “shukla pakha” in the bengali month of “jaistha”.
In this day son in-law spends whole day with his in-laws and receive gifts, treats and blessing from “sosur bari”or in-laws home.
Story behind it: It is said that in a village their was a greedy lady who used to eat everything from the kitchen and used to blame the cat who used to come often in their house. Cat who are also considered to be a child of Goddess Shasthi, complains against that greedy lady to Goddess Shasthi. Now when this greedy lady give birth to seven son and one daughter,Maa Shasthi steal all of them as a punishment.Heart broken lady cries a lot then the goddess shasthi comes to her and reminds of her past wrongdoings. She used pray and worship goddess shasthi and then she gets her children back.Freom then women started worshipping goddess shasthi for their on the day of Jamai shasthi mother in law  pray and perform this  ritual for his prosperities .
Jamai Shasthi

Celebration of the day: This festival is celebrated with a great joy.The married daughter and Son-in-law are invited by the in-laws. Everybody in the in-laws home starts decorating and planning.As the couple arrive on the door the  Mother-in-law holds the thali which consist of “Dhan” i.e. paddy, “Durba” a special kind of grass,five different fruits and a “Diya” lamp and a clay offer his son-in-law.He touches the feet of his mother-in-law and she bless him and then he enters into the home.She put a mark of curd on the forehead of son-in-law and ties a yellow thread on his wrist.
Mother in law offering the thali

Mother-in-law makes 15 to 16 dishes like Hilsha mach,Pulao,Dahi,Rossogulla,and many other dishes for the son.First of all the son-in-law eat and mother-in-law fan him with a hand fan and then other members of the house have the meal.