Saturday, March 14, 2009

soonth, first day of spring

Summer is about to start, almanac,Vijeshwar Panchang, says today is the first day of Spring, Soonth.

First morning of spring, the first sight you are supposed to see: a big (here we have a small) thali having some cooked rice, a kulcha/bread, pen, inkpot, some currency notes (here we have some coins), milk or curd (we have curd), dooyn - walnut (here we only got some almonds, walnuts of hayrath didn't last long enough), some salt (actually meant to be took noon or rock salt from Pakistan, probably called took noon because of took-took sound it produced on striking a thal while being consumed with rice), photograph(s) of anyone of the gods, some flowers - narcissus flower would be great, and a small mirror

Traditionally, the thal was prepared on the preceding night of the first day of spring, then covered with a piece of cloth and kept overnight at the center of the house which often meant kitchen, chowke or may be the thokur kuth, prayer room right next to chowke. This was the rite of thaal barun for welcoming soonth spring.

In the wee hours of morning, eldest woman of the house, grandmother or mother, with the thal in her hand, wakes everyone up, one by one, from slumber of winter and asks each one to look at the thal, look one's face in the mirror, take up the pen and write something, anything but OM would be prefect.

In the afternoon the family will probably eat Kaanul Haakh ti Gaa'de, fish cooked with fine fresh first Haakh of a renewed spring soil.

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