Thadri is a very special Festival for every Sindhi. There may have been a decline in the celebration of Sindhi Festivals, but Thadri is celebrated by Sindhis all over the World (Some of my friends have Sweetbread in place of Sweet Lolo because they just don't have the time and energy to prepare the Thadri Fare). Today's fast lifestyle also affects the enthusiasm with which traditional festivals are celebrated. This is a part and parcel of life, old traditions are replaced with new ones. We never celebrated "Mother's Day", or "Father's Day".
Thadri 2023 is on 6th September 2023
Thadri is special because as children almost all of us have enjoyed the Lolas cooked by our Moms. Can't say how many people still cook a vast variety of Thadri items that our Mothers used to cook. Lolo, Koki, Sai Bhaji, Tariyal Bhindi, Taryal Patata, Besani, Pakoda, Dahi Wada, Boondi Raito, Poori and so much more, just writing about all these wonderful items is making my mouth water. As Children, we also actively participated in preparing Thadri even though our Moms thought that we were disturbing them :). I personally loved the small Lolis which were cooked just for Pooja Purpose. So my Mother would cook some extra Lolis for me.
(Image: Youtube/ Shree Sheetala Mata Chalisa)
Thadri is celebrated for Mata Seetla Devi. It is observed about 7 Days after the Raksha Bandhan Festival in the Holi Month of Shravan. Mata Seetla Devi is believed to be the Goddess of 'Cold' or Thado or Sheetal. Mata Seetla Devi is considered to be the Eldest Sister from all the Avatars or forms of Devi Mata. There is a belief that hundreds of years ago Chicken Pox had spread in Mohenjo Daro and many people died. One day, a statue of Mata Seetla Devi appeared miraculously from the Earth. After that, the spread of the disease stopped immediately. Since then Thadri has been celebrated on this day every year.
It is strongly believed that Mata protects us from Dangerous diseases like Chicken Pox, Plague, etc. When one gets Chicken Pox, we Sindhis keep the person in isolation and play Bhajans of Mata (Thar Mata Thar, etc). Though now, with the arrival of various Vaccines, one rarely gets to see severe cases of Chicken Pox but earlier it was a very common occurrence.
On the day of Thadri, Sindhis don't burn Chulha or Gas at all. They consume the food cooked a day before Thadri. After cooking the Thadri Food a day earlier the Chulha is covered, and some water and Rice are sprinkled on it. The next morning a Pooja is performed on this Chulha with Flowers, Sindoor, Rice Grains, etc. Food is consumed only after this Pooja is over. The Thadri fare cooked a day earlier is the Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for this day. Even Tea is not prepared
in many homes, while some use alternatives like Electric Kettles these days.
Some Families also play Cards on this occasion while some believe it is wrong. As many people invite their married daughters to their Maika, there are a lot of festivities. Maybe that is the reason so many people play cards. Nowadays, a new trend has started, people perform Thadri pooja but they order Thadri Food from outside. Many Women, who normally provide Sindhi Tiffins, have started supplying Thadri items like Koki, Lolo, Besani, etc. on the occasion of Thadri. You have to order in advance as more and more people are now ordering Thadri food from outside as it is very convenient. I think it's a win-win situation for both. Women who sell Tiffins get better income on this special occasion and they deserve it. Every Woman who provides food should be considered as Mata Annapurna.
After all, every woman is a form or Ansh of Devi Maa.