Animal sacrifices are performed in order to reap a good harvest or to
save a good crop from destruction by the evil forces. When the crop is
ready for harvesting, a black goat is led around the fields and sacrificed.
The meat of the goat is then distributed in the village as a holy 'prasad
of the gods'. Sometimes to propitiate Yakshas, saints, goddesses or family
gods, people perform a Jatra. In this a whole family along with all its
numerous relatives leaves in a procession to the temple of the deity all
dressed up, singing devotional songs. They carry along with them foodstuff
of all kinds and the sacrificial goat. The drummer and the flag are also
a part of the procession. As the women folk sing Jatra songs along the
way, an old woman makes little signs on the road, shaped like footprints.
These are known as 'Leekhnu'.
As the procession reaches the deity's temple, first the
puja is performed and then all the family members sprinkle water on the
sacrificial goat and at the same time urging the deity to accept the gift
of the animal. When the animal gives his body a shake, it is taken as
a sigh from the deity signifying his acceptance. If the goat does not
shiver, it is taken to be a sign of the deity's wrath and people begin
praying .When the ritual is over the goat is sacrificed. The meat is then
cooked and served. The party spends the night in the temple premises singing
songs and asking questions about sickness and crops of the devotees on
whom the spirit of the deity is said to descend. In the morning after
offering puja the group comes back to the village.
Earlier it was customary to perform a human sacrifice
at the time of the building of a canal, a water tank or a bridge. But
this is obsolete now and animal sacrifice has replaced human sacrifice.
Some people who object to bloodshed offer sweets and other articles to
In Malana (Kulu) and Dodra Kwar (Mahasu) the twin deities
Jamlu and Mahasu are unquestionably considered as the rulers of the area.
Nothing is done here without consulting them and obtaining their permission.
At the time of harvesting, feasts are offered to the
deities especially to Baba. Trees are also considered holy. On fast days
the women folk worship the Peepal, the Banyan, the Mango and the Pomegranate
trees and offer clothes and all kinds of delicacies to them. The Banyan
tree is worshipped on the day of the Vata Savitri fast. The pomegranate
tree is worshipped at the time of weddings. Friendships are also formed
beneath this tree by formally appointing the trees as the witness. When
the new grains have been harvested, young virgins (kanya) are fed and
relatives feasted and certain traditional delicacies like kheer and halwa