Jitiya Parva

A festival performed for the well-being and long life of their son, husband, and their family.

Photo Credit: Biswarup Ganguly / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Jitiya Parva

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Jitiya Parva, also known as Jivitputrika is the holy festival that is observed by Hindu married females of Mithilanchal and Tharu women of Nepal with the observance of the Naha Kha ritual. Naha Kha means to take food after taking the formalistic bath. This festival is mainly celebrated by women from the terai region of Nepal and India. It is the most valuable festival for Tharu women. It is a three-day-long festival. It is celebrated from the seventh day (Saptami), eight-day (Ashtami) to the ninth day (Navami) of Krishna-Paksha in Ashwin month. This festival is performed by women for the well-being and long life of their son, husband, and their family.

Importance of Jitiya Parva

  • Mothers observe Jitiya fast wishing for a long life for children and to be blessed with prosperity, happiness, and peace in the family.
  • Jitiya festival carries the importance of culture, religion, and tradition.
  • This festival depicts the importance of women and cultural roles.

Myth and Story

In ancient times, there was once a king named “Shalivahana”. One day king Shalivahna saved the seven sons of women who were kidnapped by demons. From that day, the king was called Jitamahan. The women worshipped the king Jitamahan as the king started observing the festival believing that the king will save their son from any harm.

There are many beliefs about fasting. Besides that, the main belief of married women with children is that it is done for the long life of the children and the happiness of the family and the married woman without children does the fasting to get the infant and happiness.

How Jitiya Parva is celebrated?

This festival can be celebrated at home but Traditionally, a woman is invited to their parent’s home to observe the fasting for the long life of her husband and children. The festival is celebrated by adults and children passionately at their maternal home. This Parva is celebrated for three days from (the seventh to the ninth day) of Krishna-Paksha in Ashwin month.

On the first day of Jitiya Parva, women observe the fasting part with food consisting of beaten rice, curd, etc. they put Khari (mustard cake), mustard oil on a leaf of a banana tree and pour it into the river. After that, they worship Jitamahan and a female ancestor. women take the holy dip in a river and pond in the morning of the day and the fast (brata) will start. The oil they offered to Jitamahan from the elder member of the family. At midnight, they prepare and eat special food (before daybreak) like millet bread (roti), green curry without salt (nun), and other salt-free food items after performing the rituals on the first day.

The second day is Upas. On this day, women go to the river and pond. The women fast the whole day. The devotees gather together and listen to the story of Jitamahan. During Ashtami, they are not allowed to eat fruits and drink even a drop of water. They also sing and dance during fasting hours. The women sing a song called Darkatoni. Anyone can involve in singing and dancing.  

The third or final day of this Parva Is Parwan. The women woke up early in the morning and took a bath in the river. They perform puja and after that offer some fruit, curd, and milk to a deity (JItamahan). After that, they can take water and food. Then, they sing and dance the whole day afterward the women complete their fast (brata).

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