Vaishali A. Patel
Festivals and Celebrations during Shraavan Mahino
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Many of us are scared of snakes. That makes sense, as many snakes are poisonous!
However, in a farming country like India, snakes are important for farmers as they keep rodents and other creatures away from the fields. In Gujarati, "Saap" is snake and "Naag" is a Cobra.
In the Hindu religion, Naag and Seshnaag are considered very important. It is believed that Brahma created Seshnaag, Shivji and wore it around his neck. Vishnuji rests on Seshnaag in the Ocean.
Naag Panchami is the day that we show our gratitude to these wonderful creatures. On this day farmers are grateful to snakes and cobras for protecting their farms. It is great that we have a special day for snakes, but I think that compassion towards all the creatures in this world should be our goal.
Do you know of Naag Panchami? How do you celebrate it?
RAANDHAN CHHUTH & SHITALAA SAATAM
Raandhan chhuth is the day before Shitalaa saatam, which some folks know as "TAADHI HIRI".
It is the day to prepare all the good food you wish to eat on the Saatam, such as Vadaa and more. If you follow this festival, this is the one day in the year folks give their "Chulo" (stove) a break and eat cold food.
We are a culture of showing gratitude towards all things that are part our day to day lives.
Stoves create fire every day so we can cook our food and eat delicious meals. On this day, we show gratitude towards these machines that make our lives better. Those who understand the value of all things (alive or not) that help make our lives better, invite calm and cool energy (Shital - cool).
There is a tale associated with this festival, you can hear me share it on our Youtube channel.
Do you follow and practice 'Shitalaa saatam' or "taadhi seeri"? What do you do?
On the ninth day of Shraavan is a day celebrated by many married women, especially mothers in some parts of Gujarat who choose to follow this "vrat".
I didn't actually know of this until I got married, as this was not very popular in Baroda side.
Many of you may know this as the day we eat vardoo (sprouted 9 beans -mung beans, alfalfa, lentils, chickpeas, and adzuki beans. fava, kidney, black, navy, and pinto beans), rotlaa, bor keriyaa (pickeled mangoes and veggies), raw onion, kachoo tel, milk and unminced/chopped marchoo.
Women who had difficulty conceiving or had children whose health was weak when they were babies, took "baadhaa"(promise to the gods) to feed other women rotlaa and vadoo on this auspicious day.
Many also create a statue of a Mongoose out of flour, or buy a silver/gold one and pray, show gratitude, and do puja. Over a period of time it became an excuse for many women to get together and eat a simple meal.
Overall, this is a day all about protection and well-being of children. You may wonder why does one eat raw and not "peelelu" on this day?
You can listen to the story of "Nori Nem" I will be posting on our Youtube channel today to learn why this is.
The power or faith, community, control, and hope is what makes women in our culture very strong. This is the day to eat simple food that are easy to digest, believe that our children are protected, and focus on all the goodness coming our way.
Do you or have you ever celebrated Nori Nem?
What do you do differently on this day?
Do you like the smell of "Agarbatti"(incense) or "dhoop"? 🌺
Shraavan Mahinaa no Treejo Somvaar (Third Monday in the month of Shraavan)
One of my most favorite memories is going to visit my grandma in her gaam.
When I would walk into the house, I would smell the subtle aroma of sandalwood that she would burn daily.
It was not the strong perfumed smell that some of the "agarbatti" have these days.