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Shradh days

 
The fifteen lunar days of the dark half of the moon in Assu are the Shradh days when the dead are propitiated. People observe this rite out of moral obligation and gratitude to the manes. Brahmins are fed on the particular ancestor died. During these days nothing auspicious is celebrated. The Shradhs are followed by the Nauratas (Navaratras),  which regarded auspicious for celebration on the first of the mix days barley is sown in the house. This is called Khetri, or goddess Gorjas farm. This little farm is watered and nurtured regularly till the eighth or ninth day. On that day goddess Gorja, in the form of seedlings, is covered with a piece of red cloth and worshipped and propitiated. Hindu women observe a fast during the Nauratas, though esculent roots like potates, and cakes made from the water-chestnut (sandhara) flour are allowed despite the fast. On the Dussehra day women cut the young  shoots of Khetri and tick them in the headwears of their male relatives, and invariably get gifts in return. The festival of goddess Sanjhi is also celebrated during the Nauratas. On the first day an image of the goddess is made from mixing mud and cow dung and is then placed along a wall on a door. Every evening during the Nauratas the image is worshipped, incantations are muttered and an offering of a mixture of rice and sugar (tilcholi) is distributed. On the day of Dussehra this image is immersed in water.

 


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