Jitiya festival being observed in Mithila community

Mahottari, Oct 6: The married women from Mithila community are celebrating Jitiya festival with great fervor today.

The festival falls on the eight day of the waning moon (Krishna Pakshya) in the Nepali month of Ashwin as per the lunar calendar and is celebrated by wishing for the longevity of offspring and family’s well-being by observing strict fasting.

They feast on ‘Ogatan’ (delicacies) in the midnight of the previous day before observing a fast that bars even consumption of water.

Prior to observing a fast, women devotees take a holy bath in nearby rivers, ponds or lakes and observe a fast.

Today is the main day of the three-day cultural festival that started on the seventh day of the waning moon and will conclude on the ninth day.

The Hindu Maithil tradition has it that the women devotees offer beaten rice, curd, food items/delicacies made from mango juice, jaggery, mustard oil and so on to the Lord Jitamohan and the departed ancestors on the leaf of the sponge guard.

It is believed that the children and spouse of the women devotees observing fast on this day would be blessed with longevity and valour.

The festival that carries religious and cultural significance highlights the cultural role and importance of women in the Mithila community.