Saturday, 3 October, 2009

Full moon, Kojagori Lokkhi Pujo....

Today is full moon. As I sit writing this, from my window I can see the full moon slowly rising in the dusky sky.

One significance of this full moon night is that some Bengalis worship Goddess Lakkhi on this day. It is generally said that Bengalis from East Bengal do this, more so they offer ilish maach (hilsa fish) to the goddess. But my father's side of the family in spite being staunchly from the western side of Bengal perform this pujo (praying ceremony). This full moon day in Bengali calender is called kojagori lokkhi pujo.

In my family the pujo is held in the evening when the moon is shinning brightly in its full glory. For this particular pujo, there is no idol, rather a kunke which is an old bowl like thing made of mixed metals like bronze, silver etc and has intricate designs. Years ago during zamindari system or maybe even before this it was used to measure grain. It is kind of a family heirloom. Since lokkhi or lakshmi is the goddess of wealth hence worshipping this kukne. The ceremony is usually brief.

What used to be fun was the dinner that my mother usually prepared. It used to be a vegetarian meal with luchi, aloor dom, cholar dal, begun bhaja, dhoka, phul kopir torkari and usually payash for dessert. I am almost salivating thinking about those goodies. My mother is sure to make all of these dishes today, though with the family dispersing the dinner has become less fussier. I can almost see my mother standing in her kitchen frying luchis, while the aloor dom shimmers in a pot next to her, in between the luchis she would check the aloo, instruct the maid to taste the payash after she finished chopping the brinjal for begun bhaja. The dinner used to be a big thing in our house once. As a kid I remember all my dadus (grandfathers), uncles, aunts, cousins gather in our house, since our thakur ghor (worship room) was very small most of us would spill in the terrace. Some of us would play hide and seek while the elders used to laugh and joke, some one would start singing some rabindrasangeet being inspired by the full moon. After the pujo there would be prasaad (sweets and fruits which are offered to the goddess is usually eaten in a Hindu home by the everyone after the ceremony gets over) distribution and then finally dinner.

I wish I had some photographs to show, let me see if I can find some old ones.
Enjoy the full moon folks, I sure am while the Oxford moon plays hide seek with the clouds!

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