20 June, 2016
Bring in the rain! Parsi Custom of bringing in rains by an community effort of collecting Rice, Dal and Ghee to make Khichri
I was in Gujarat last week and the record temperatures (once in 100 years) of 50 C (122 F) are scorching hot.
People have been hospitalized due to the heat wave. There are no rains as yet.
You may have heard of the American Red Indian Dance for Rains.
Or the song in Gujarati song for welcoming rains after a hot summer:
“Aavre Aav Varsad,
Uunni uunni rotli,
ne karela nu shaak! “
“Come oh come rain,
Manna water from the heaven,
Enjoy with us, our warm rotli,
and karela vegetables “
But have you heard of the Parsi Custom of bringing in rains by an community effort of collecting Rice, Dal and Ghee to make Khichri?
In Navsari (a small town in the Gujarat State of India) often referred to as the “Dharam Ni Tekdi” Parsis has many of the traditional customs and practices that have over time been forgotten in other cities and town. The Ghee Khichri ritual on Bahman Mahino and Bahman Roj is one of them. Boys go, asking for rice, dal, oil, ghee and other uncooked products. The ladies pour generous portions in the collection bags. The boys are also splashed with water, which the boys have to dodge carefully.
Later this uncooked food is gathered at one location and is cooked into a collective feast.The whole endeavor is to ask the rain gods to come and bestow Mother Earth with water, after the long summer months in India.
A folk song is heard from moholla to moholla in Navsari:
GHEEE KHICHRI NO PAISO
DORIYAA NO RUPIYO
VARSAADJI TOH AAYEGA
DUMRI SHER LAAYEGA
DUMRI TAARI OAT MAA KHARA PAANINET MAA
OTTI KE POTTI
REL AAVI MOTTI
ALLAA GOCAL PAANI MOKAL
VARSAADJI NU PAANI TOH MITTHU NE MITTHU
Bring in the rain with the Parsi Custom of collecting Rice, Dal and Ghee to make Khichri.