Want to know everything about the upcoming Jitiya fast? Don’t know what to eat and what not to eat, or what to do? We are here to help you!
Jitiya fast commemorates the extreme and never-ending love of a mother towards her child. Jitiya fast is observed by mothers for the well being and prosperity of their children.
The Jitiya fast is primarily observed in the regions of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar. Also in Nepal, this fast has a high following. It is more prominent in the Bhojpuri and Maithili speaking districts of the states.
The Jivitputrika fast will be celebrated on Thursday, 10th September 2020 this year.
- Start: Thursday, 10th September 02:05 AM
- End: Friday, 11th September 03:34 AM
It starts on the Saptami (seventh day) and ends on the Navami (ninth day) of the Ashwin Maagh (month) in Krishna Paksha as per the Hindu Calendar.
Why Jivitputrika is Celebrated?
As per the legend, there once lived a kind-hearted and wise King named Jimutavahana. He was not happy with the diverse worldly pleasures offered to him. Therefore, he gave the kingdom and his responsibilities to his brothers and left for the forest.
After a while of walking in the forest, the king came across a whimpering old lady. When he asked her woe, the lady told him that she is Nagvanshi (snake family) and had only one son.
However, due to an oath taken by them, Pakshiraj Garuda was to be fed by a snake every day and today was her son’s turn. Seeing the plight of the woman, Jimutavahana promised her that he would protect his son’s life.
He then laid down on the rocks covering himself in a red-colored cloth and presented himself as food for Garuda. When Garuda appeared, he started feeding on Jimutavahana.
Garuda noticed that there was no fear of death in his prey’s eyes. Finding it to be amusing, he asked his real identity. Jimtuvahana then narrated the whole incident.
After listening to Jimtuvahana’s account, Pakshiraj Garuda was pleased with his bravery and freed him. Also, he vowed to forsake any more sacrifices from the snakes.
Thus, the generosity and bravery of Jimtuvahana saved the lives of snakes. Hence, the day is celebrated as Jivitputrika Vrat where the mothers keep a fast for the wellbeing, good fortune, and longevity of their children.
The Jitiya fast is celebrated for three consecutive days starting from Saptami and ending on Navami.
The first day, Saptami is called the ‘Nahai Khai’. On this day, the mothers eat nutritious food that is advised by the elders and priests.
The second day, Ashtami is the primary day of the fast. Mothers observe ‘Nirajala’ fast that is they do not even consume a drop of water. They cook delicious meals for the prasad and read the Jitiya Vrat Katha.
The third day, Navami is called the ‘Paaran’. On this day, the mothers take the holy shower in the morning, perform puja offering the meals prepared on Ashtami, and then opening the fast wit the prasad.
When mothers observe Jitiya Fast while not abstaining from water, it is called Khur Jitiya. It is not mandatory to refrain from drinking water if you are ill or elderly.
How To Break Jitiya Fast?
The dishes made for paaran are rather decided and set for every year. There is a meal that is mandatorily cooked. Apart from this, you can cook any other dish that you intend to.
- Noni Saag
Noni is a type of plant with small leaves on a thick stem. It is found in the interior parts of the regions of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- Poi Saag
Poi is another kind of a leafy plant that is cultivated locally. It is said to be full of essential nutrients that help mothers retain energy.
- Marua Roti
Chapatis made of marua flour is made to be eaten with the dishes cooked. Marua is a small-grained cereal similar to millet.
Many might point out that it is not usual to consume non-veg during a fast, but for jitiya fast fish is considered to be auspicious.
- Jhingni Sabzi
Jhingni is also a kind of leafy vegetable. For those mothers who are vegetarian, instead of fish jhingni sabzi is made.
A mother’s love for her children is unconditional. Jitiya is an auspicious festival for all mothers because it helps them reassure the safety and longevity of their children.
It is a prime festival for people of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. We tried gathering as much information for you as possible.
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*featured image credits: Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51690813