In this land of variety and diversity, fairs and festivals are celebrated with a great deal of brilliance and grandness. The young state of Chhattisgarh is no exception. The Kajari Festival is an important festival in Chhattisgarh and it is of particular relevance to the farmers of the state.
Description of the Kajari Festival in Chhattisgarh
The Kajari Festival is particularly important to the farmers because it heralds the beginning of the sowing season for wheat and barley. It is time to bid adieu to the monsoons and start the preparations for a fresh harvest. These religious minded farmers therefore seek the blessings of Goddess Bhagwati so that they may have a better crop the following year.
The customs and rituals that are associated with the Kajari Festival are performed only by women who are blessed with a son. On the day of the Shravan Shukla Navami, the women folk go to the agricultural fields and collect earth in leaf cups. Barley is sown in these cups. The cups are then kept in a dark room. The rooms are kept clean. The walls and floors are washed with cow dung and mud. Special care is taken to see that neither sunlight nor air penetrates into the room. The floors are also beautifully decorated with designs drawn with rice solution. Some of the staple designs that ornament the floor are figures of a house, a child in cradle, a mongoose and a woman with a pitcher. At the end of it all, the cup is religiously worshipped.
This worship is religiously repeated for seven days till Kajari Purnima or full Moon Day. All these days they continuously pray for the well being of their husband, children and for a good harvest. The celebrations reach its height on the evening of Kajari Purnima. Women observe fast from the morning. Then they carry the cup in their heads in a procession to a nearby pond or water body to immerse it.
Time for celebrating the Kajari Festival in Chhattisgarh
The celebrations of the Kajari Festival begin on the ninth day after the Shravan Amavasya. The month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar corresponds to the months of July and August in the Gregorian calendar. This ninth day is referred to as the Kajari Navami or Shravan Shukla Navami. Beginning on the Kajari Navami, the festival continues till the Kajari Purnima or the full moon day. This festival coincides with yet another festival, the Raksha Bandhan.