Joorshital festival, also known as Vaisakhi, is a unique festival of the Terai region of Nepal. It literally means ‘keeping cool with water’. It is also celebrated in some parts of India and Bangladesh. This festival falls on the first day of Baishakh (13th or 14th April) and marks the beginning of the New Year, according to the Hindu calendar. The festival of Joorshital has a greater significance among the Tharu people of Nepal. They also call this festival ‘Siruwa Pawain’. This is one of their main festivals and they celebrate it with pump and soul.
On this auspicious day of Joorshital, elders of the family get up early in the morning, take a bath and perform puja and some rituals at their home. After that they put water on the head of younger ones of their family and their relatives. The elders put water on their palm, and sprinkle and scatter on the head of juniors (three to five times) giving blessings and good wishes. In some communities of Madhesh, the juniors put water on the feet of the elders. People also water plants in their gardens and children pour water on dry lands. It is believed that water is essential for a plant to bear branches and leaves; in a similar way, the blessing with water on the day of Joorshital keeps people progressing like plants. The blessings of Joorshital are meant for a successful year ahead and keeping everything cool and pleasant for good life. The blessing with water also symbolizes of lessening the summer heat so that the New Year will be cool, productive and prosperous throughout.
Two good beliefs related with Joorshital festival:
Water: Water on the day of Joorshital is believed to keep the people cool whole year, lessening the summer heat so that the New Year will be productive and prosperous throughout.
Food: One day before, they prepare different kinds of foods to be eaten on the New Year (on the day of Joorshital). It is believed that if one has enough food cooked on this auspicious day and eaten on the next year day, they will have equally good food the whole New Year.
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