It is Saazo today !
Kinnauri version of Makar Sakranti – celebration of beginning of new year.
Celebrated with customary ‘halwa-puri’ like all other villagers visiting their married daughters, sisters and bua’s. Our village keep it simple affair of visiting relatives – eating multiple katoris of halwa, several cups of buttertea and endless chatting.
I wonder how same simple ingredients tastes different with different hands.
Today I had enough halwa for rest of the year. Some villages has grand celebrations with their respective dieties who later leave for Kailasha leaving behind their palanquin body lifeless. The festival Saazo is celebrated with much fanfare across the length and breadth of Kinnaur with the customs varying slightly.
Our village diety Kasurajas goes the last to join other dieties for their private celebration up in Kailash Parvat. Each year he serves as the distributor of harvest, wealth, calamity, deaths and disease among all that keeps the harmony and nature’s balance of good and bad things equally.
The temple doors especially inner sanctum are thoroughly cleaned and then kept closed until the diety returns with signs of fortune or misfortune forecasting what the new year will bring for villagers.
If grain is found it means the harvest will be good.
If money or coin is found the income will be great.
If burned coal is found it indicates fire hazard.
If pebbles are found it means some natural calamity like flood is expected.
If some piece of cloth is found that means large number of death and diseases will fall upon the village.
It is said the the rodents brings them there, sometimes the signs gives correct implications,
sometimes not but it never stops us from believing.
As I said our diety leaves last, I’m looking forward to what he brings for us from Kailasha.
By Smriti Negi