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.