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Teejri and Thadri – The Sindhi Festivals

The two Sindhi festivals of “Teejri” and “Thadri” fall in the same week.

Teejri is to Sindhis what Karva Chauth is to Punjabis. The festival is observed by women to pray for the long lives of their husbands.

“Thadri” is the festival that brings with itself the pleasure of eating home cooked “Lolas”.  It is celebrated to worship “Sheetla Mata” and hence nothing warm/hot is eaten on that day.

Milind Teckchandani

I am writing this post on a flight to London. A trip to London during August/September every year has become a regular feature in my professional diary for the last few years; it is something that I look forward to for the unique experience it brings with itself.  Things are slightly different this time as I did not realize that our very own Sindhi festivals of “Teejri” and “Thadri” fall in the same week that I am away. Whilst “Teejri” is essentially a ladies festival, I quite like the vibe that it brings about with itself.  “Thadri” on the other hand, is the festival that I look forward to for the sheer culinary pleasures that it brings with itself – the pleasure of eating home cooked “Lolas”.   The only consolation this time being that I am back on the same day when “Meetha Lolas” will be served.

Teejri-Katha-Process
Teejri Katha before moonrise

Simply put, Teejri is to Sindhis what Karva Chauth is to Punjabis. The festival is observed by women to pray for the long lives of their husbands. It is customary for women to put mehendi (“Heena”) on their hands a day before the festival and I am generally forced to by my sister to take both of them to the “mehendiwala” who is in great demand on that day and waiting times can often be more than an hour. What else can one do but be patient! (Difficult to win against your sister, isn’t it!)

I have grown up seeing my mother (and other ladies in the family) waking up around four o’clock in the morning next day to have the only meal that she will have till she sees “Chandr” (Moon) in the evening, which usually is “Koki” (Regular readers are no doubt familiar with my love for Koki which I have outlined in previous posts).  There is then Pooja at our Sindhu Samaj in the evening which is bustling with activity. Once the Pooja is over and mummy is back that the task of keeping an eye on the moon begins. Ladies break their fast once they see the moon and you will find people waiting anxiously to see the moon. There is such a pleasure in “gazing at the stars” which we often miss and that occasions like these remind us of.

Celebration of Thadhri by Sindhis in Indore -Free Press Journal
Celebration of Thadhri by Sindhis in Indore -Free Press Journal

Thadri on the other hand, as I said is a festival of sheer culinary delight. It is celebrated to worship “Sheetla Mata” and hence nothing warm/hot is eaten on that day. A day before the festivals, “Lolas” (Thick Breads) are cooked which are consumed the next day. I especially like the ones with jaggery in them that one eats with salted butter and Raita. Make no mistake, cooking Lolas is no easy task and it usually takes around 3-4 hours to prepare them. Then my mother does a small Pooja followed by sprinkling of water in the entire home which symbolizes purification of the house.

koki-1Both these festivals remind me about our unique cultural heritage and the memories associated with these festivals never fail to bring a smile.

I end with this wonderful half an hour talk show that was recently aired on radio Radio voice of Sindh, UK about the various Hindu (Sindhi) festivals during the auspicious month of “Sawan”. As the program is in “Nij” Sindhi, I too found it slightly difficult to understand each and every word (No one else but me to blame for not learning Sindhi!) but I found it extremely informative.

Jeay Sindhi and Sindhiyat!

Watch the Video: Sindhi Women Singing and Dancing ‘Teejri’ 

_____________________

Courtesy: Sindhi Chokro Blogs (Published on August 27, 2018)

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