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Thadri: Sindhis up for food binge

By Anjali Gursahaney

Thadri means Thadho (Cold)

Goddess Sitala

Sindhi’s are a community who lived in Sindh, Pakistan. But after partition they now live in different parts of India. However, Pakistan also sees his Sindhi community in traces.
Thadri is celebrated in the month of Sawan, on the seventh day of the waning moon. Like every festival, it has a lot of stories associated with it.  It signifies the birth of Yogamaya , sister of Lord Krishna.
Thadri is also celebrated for Devi Mata when people used to get small pox or chickenpox. There is also a belief that the expression Mata aa gayi in Hindi meant illness in the form of chickenpox. Mata means Chandi Mata– Durga Devi in ChandiRoop. People considered it to be the physical form of her anger. So, Thadho (cold) used to be done in which cold food was consumed and people prayed to her.

The mother goddess is worshipped in various forms; Sitala, being the small-pox goddess, is worshipped by Sindhi’s. She is the eldest of several sisters, named after different kinds of diseases such as measles etc. The worship of the goddess lasts during the whole period of the attack of the goddess (disease); mothers sing to their thadri affected son: ‘Thaar Mata Thaar, Munhjebachrankhethaar’. The annual festival observed in honour of this goddess is called Thadri, or the cooling festival.

In conversation with Newsgram, Mrs MuskaanGulabani said,
“When I was young, my grandmother used to make Mithulolo during Thadri. It was the most awaited festival, giving us the tastiest food ever. Since ladies don’t work on that day in kitchen, it was also a free day for them. But now, no one celebrates it the way it used to be. Sindhi festivals are losing their importance. Families should start celebrating Thadri again.”

lola, Sindhi dish source: Sindhirasoi.com

Ladies prepare Meetho Lolo (a famous dish of Sindhi), Dal Jo Lolo, and boondiraita on the previous day of the festival. On the day, kitchen fire is not lit at home, and the thado (cold) food prepared on the previous day is eaten.

RITUALS OF THE DAY

On the day of the festival, a ritual is carried out on the chulha with Akhri and Thikriyiun.

-7 small quarter-sized Loli’s are made which are supposed to be kept on the Chula.

– Along with offering Matho, the chulha is annointed with vermilion and water is poured on top.

– Flowers are offered if preffered and the chula isn’t touched for the whole day

– next day, the Lolis are kept under a tree and the chulha is lit.

– Two spoons of chana dal is also soaked during the night and with the soaked dal, one is supposed to chant the mantra three times: ‘Lakhrosaakro, Wadimai, Nandimai, Langhipayipaar, Devi Rani tuthadhokarthaar.’

The entire process is carried out as a way of cooling down the symbolic fire of the chulhas.

In festive fervour, homemaker Bharti Gursahaney said, “I love preparing the food one day in advance. You get extra sleep the next day and even a day off from the kitchen. You don’t have to cook the whole day and still get to eat tasty food.”

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