One of the oldest civilizations of human history, the
have a rich and clearly distinct cultural heritage and are very festive. Their most
important festival is the birthday of Lord
Celebration of the birth of Water god (Varun Devta), popularly
known as Jhulelal.
Sindh the beginning of the New Year was considered Cheti Chand
. On the full moon day, people used to go to a river or lake and offer 'Akho' with a pinch of rice mixed with milk
and flour. If there was no river or 'Darya', the ritual was performed at a well.
2. Sagra (Sacred thread)
often lived in foreign countries; their
wives were worried about the good health of their husbands. For this purpose they
and fasted on four Mondays of Sawan month, after which they perform pooja, distribute
sweet rice and then had the sacred thread tied on the wrist by the priest (Bandhan).
3. Mahalakshmi's Sacred Thread (Mahalakshmi-a-jo-Sagro)
This sacred thread had 16 strips and 17 days. On the day when the sacred thread
was to be untied, it was celebrated as an important day and special savouries like
satpura and pakwan of Suji & Maida were made and distributed firstly to the
priests and the poor and afterwards the remaining savouries were used by family
generally Mondays & Saturdays, Giyaras or Umaas were observed as fasts ( vrats
). During the fast of Satyanarayan and nine days of Ekaanaas , only one time meal
was generally taken.
This festival takes place in the month of Sawan when married
women and girls apply mehnde their hands and feet, keep fast for the whole day.
Orthodox or strict Sindhi women do not even drink a sip of water until they break
their fast. In the night after making an offering to the moon, they would break
the fast. This is also referred to as the Sindhi version of Karwa Chauth.
6. Akhan Teej
On this day new earthen pots of water (matkas) were kept
and everyone was offered clean and cool water. The significance of this day was
to offer water to the thirsty. Hence at every nook and corner, sharbat , with pieces
of apple in it, was offered to passersby along with 'prasad' . On this day, it was
also customary to send new earthen pots and fruits to priests and Gurdwara.
In the month of Sawan , on the Baaras of Krishna Paksha,
cereals were changed in food, i.e. instead of wheat and rice, chapatis made of gram
flour (Besan) were eaten.
8. Ban Badhri
During the month of 'Bado' , during the Baaras of Shukla
Paksha , god Varun had taken avtaar . In lieu of that small insects like ants etc.
were fed Gur (jaggery) and Musti . Married daughters are invited by their parents
9. Somavati Umaas
During certain months Umaas takes place on a Monday. That
day is considered important for having a "dumb dip' in the waters; without talking
to anyone early in the morning. It is also, called 'Gungee Umaas" .
10. Nandhi and Vaddi Thadri
these take place in the month of Sawan . On the day before Thadree day, people cook
lola (sweet flour cakes) and rote (fried cakes) because there has to be no lighting
of fire in the house on the Thadree day. The lolas and Rotes are eaten with curd
or pickle. On that day drops of water are also sprinkled on the cooking fire to
appease Sitladevi Mata.
11. Janamashtami, Ram Navmi and Shivratri
was born after midnight, on Janamashtami , bhajans and kirtan are held in temples
till midnight. On Ram Navmi , Lord Rama's birthday is celebrated. On Shivratri people
drink 'Thaadhal' , after making offering of it in the Mahadev temple. In the villages
and cities, big pots of 'Taahri' (sweet rice) are prepared and distributed among
On this festive day parents send ladoos & chiki ( Laaee
) made of Tils to their married daughters. On the Makar Sankrant day the sun moves
from south to north. It is therefore also called 'utraan' or 'Tirmoori' . In Mahabharat
battle Bhisham Pitamah did not breathe his last till ‘ utraan' since on this day
there happens flush of light in Dev Lok .
Few days before
here used to be Ramlila program which was attended by throngs of people. On the
day colourful effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnath were burnt.
Two days before
start lighting Diyaas (earthen lamps) from 'Dhan Teras' . Friends and relatives
meet one another with affection and extended pleasantries and sweetmeats. In the
night, Laxmi Poojan takes place when all the members of the family pray with reverence
and respect. In the night, people used to take in their hands a stick to which a
rag dipped in oil was tied which was burnt. It was called 'Mollawaro' ; everyone
shouted 'Mollawaro..... Mollawaro'....
15. The Giyaras of Kati
Before partition, on this day people in Sindh used to be engaged in giving charity.
The whole bazaar would be full with hundreds of beggars and the needy, who would
spread a cloth before them, on which people, according to their mite, would throw
money, Bhugra , fruits etc. The jugglers used to arrange their Tamashas on the road
with monkeys and bears dancing on the tunes played by the jugglers. An atmosphere
of gaiety and gay prevailed all through the day.
During these days’ devotees of Devi ate one meal a day and
did not even shave and cut hair. Ladies sang bhajans . In
they used to dance like Garba in Gujrat.
17. Lal Loi
Celebrated on the 13th of January every year, during Lal Loi kids used to bring
wood sticks from their grand parents and aunties and like a fire camp burnt these
sticks in the night with people enjoying, dancing and playing around fire and distributed
prasad 'Sesa'; this continued till midnight.
During the Purnima of Sawan month sisters tied a
Rakhi to their
brothers. This day is called "Rakhree Bandhan'.
Sisters used to come from far off places and towns to specially tie Rakhis
to their brothers. There was so much affection and love. Those cities and places
where there were rivers or sea, people used to offer coconuts and milk to the God
of Waters 'Varun Devta so that those who were traveling in ships and boats should
have a safe and sound journey.
Just as in India the month of September 'Bado' was meant
for Krishna Paksha as Pitar Pakhiya. Any member of the family who had died on particular
(tithi) day and date, a Shraadh was offered for the solace of the deceased's soul.
The Brahmins were given food and Dakhshna. Through this method the deceased members
of the family are remembered and all the family members have a good gathering.
20. Nagapanchmi (Gogro)
during those days whenever the snake charmer brought snakes,
they were given some Dakhshna. Nagpanchami is also called Gogro. It is folklore
from Kutch and Gujarat.
The festival of colours in which all the young and old join together to express
their joy at the change of season. Some people correlate Holi festival with Holika,
the sister of Hirnakashyap, mythological father of Bhagat Prahlad.