Friday, August 17, 2018
Rajasthan

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Death

There are three main funeral ceremonies in Rajasthan. They are Antyeshthi, Tiya and Mausar.

Antyeshthi (Cremation)

When a person dies, he or she is taken in a funeral procession to the cremation ground. If the deceased was quite old, a band leads the procession. The eldest son, or a near relative, lights the funeral pure. The mourners then throw fagots in the fire as a symbol of active participation in the cremation.

When a rich person dies, coins are scattered all the way from the house to the cremation ground. Beggars and the poor pick up the coins. This is called Bakher. It is mainly a Rajasthani custom.

The bereaved family goes into mourning for twelve days. Professional weepers cry everyday at the residence of the deceased person. In Rajasthan there is a class of professional weepers who can be called to weep wherever a death occurs.

Tiya

On the third day after the death, the relatives go to the cremation ground and collect the ashes which they later immerse in Pushkar Lake or the Ganga. On this day, relatives and friends assemble at the dead person's house and perform havan while Vedic hymns are recited by the family priest.

Mausar (Death Feast) 

On the twelfth day, a grand feast is given in honour of the dead. Hundreds of people are invited and this costs the family a good deal of money. Sometimes the poor have to take loans and incur heavy debts which they are unable to repay. Now the young often refuse to give this death feast which they consider wasteful. So, some old men and women give their death feasts in advance for fear that their sons and relatives may not hold it after their death. The state government has banned death feasts because they are considered a curse for the poor.

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