Weird ritual to appease rain god

PATHLAIYA: Every night, the Tharu women of Wards No 1, 2, 3 and 6 of Jitpur Village Development Committee in Bara district observe a bizarre ritual of ploughing their house yard these days.

Such a tradition, as the locals claim, has been persisting in the locale for long in order to appease “rain god” during dry spell.

They believe that once they repeat such “ploughing-like” activities in their yards every night, the rain god will be happy and will allow rainfall. “We perform such ritual as there has not been rainfall and we are unable to plant paddy saplings in the farms,” Sitadevi Chaudhari, a local says.

She also proudly recalls that rainfall had occurred when they had performed such rituals at various times in the past.

Sitadevi adds that other women attending the ritual sing songs to make the rain god happy while others are busy ploughing.

Interestingly, the women involved in the ritual punish their husbands, who have to be blindfolded, if they found their husbands peeping the goings on.

“If we find our husbands watching the ritual, we tie them with a rope and pour water on their bodies,” Jiresni Chaudhari, another local woman says.

“We believe that the rain god provides us with the rain rather fast if we punish the husbands breaching the ritual,” she says.

“The husbands who violate the rule are asked to produce some foodstuff as a fine, which is offered to the rain god as ‘prasad’,” she adds.

“The ritual continues every night until there is a rainfall,” the woman says.

Farmers in the district have not been able to plant paddy due to the lack of adequate rainfall.