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Jagara, Jagrata, Jagga

 
These are rituals common to the entire state. The Jagara is presented as an act of thanks giving at the completion of a wish (sukkha). The whole valley reverberates with the sounds of instruments like Jhanjh ( cymbals), Ghada (pitches), Thali (platter), Chimta (tongs) and Kansi. This is offered to the family or local deity. On this day of the Jagara, the host invites all the followers of the deities in the area and as the Jagara party enters the village at sunset, they are given a warm welcome by the villagers. At some places a community feast is also arranged. After the feast some rice, jaggery and money is placed upon a platter and pooja is offered unto the goddess with lighted lamps, incense, flowers and prayers. After the deity has been worshipped ballads depicting incidents from the scriptures and local history are sung. Some of the devotees at this point become possessed of the spirit of the goddesses. They begin to shout and sing and dance in a sort of a trance. People ask them various questions about the future and the whole atmosphere becomes imbued with mystery and awe. As the night wanes the songs of Tara Rani are sung and sweet Halwa is distributed at the completion of the entire ritual among all those present. The Jagarata troupe is fed and given gifts and a warm send off eventually at the completion of the show.


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