Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Sahi Jatra - Street Procession #AToZChallenge

The holy town of Puri in Odisha, where the Shree Jagannath Temple is located, is one of India's four holy pilgrimage-places (Char Dhaam) of the Hindus.
Sahi Jatra, also called Sahi Jata, is one of the oldest festivals that is believed to have started in 1230 AD in Puri. 

In Odia, ‘Sahi’ means a locality/street/particular area.
'Jatra' means procession/movement/journey.

Sahi Jatra is a colourful processional theatre. Sahi Jatra is a kind of folk drama or play. 
The grand procession is attractive.  
Heritage Walk on World Heritage Day at Bhubaneswar
As Puri town is very ancient, so are its 'sahis' i.e. streets. Each sahi has its own presiding deity. These sahis once safeguarded the temple of Lord Jagannath from attack. Traditional weapons are taken out to the street in a grand procession in Sahi Jatra. Wrestlers get a chance to display their strength and skill and  local youth enact the roles in elaborate costumes, enact the roles. This grand procession on the main street has music powered by musicians playing drums, trumpets, cymbals, conch shells and other instruments.

Usually performed during the first month of spring, Sahi Jatra is also seen during festivals and celebrations. It commences on Ram Navami and continues for a fortnight.
In Puri, each street enacts a different episode from the Ramayana, and the story moves from one street to another. The story starts with the birth of Lord Rama, his fight with demons, Laxman chopping off Supranakha's nose, Rama and Laxman after the golden deer, Ravana forcibly taking away Sita, Hanuman burning Lanka, the war between Rama and Ravana and Rama’s coronation. Mythical tales, folk-tales and folk-songs are also enacted. 

During the Sahi Jatra performance, anyone from the audience can join in spontaneously. 

I recently got to be a part of a Sahi Jatra at Bhubaneswar. The moment I saw the Sahi Jatra on the road stretch near Ram Mandir, I joined in and walked with the procession.

The carnival-like atmosphere was lovely!
It was great to witness and participate in a live cultural show on the busy road!
Looking forward to the next Sahi Jatra.

Have you experienced such a procession in any city? Do share in the comments below.


Post for my second #atozchallenge. S for Sahi Jatra i.e. Street Journey/Procession.
My Theme is- "Odisha- The Soul of Incredible India".
Odisha is a state in the eastern part of India. Have you visited Odisha and India? 
I am sharing some glimpses from Odisha. Do keep reading and discovering!

9 comments:

  1. So many different costumes! Thanks for visiting me today:)

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  2. Wow how bright and cheerful that looks... Not seen overhere, such processions

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
    http://melodymusic.nl/22-S

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  3. This sounds so fascinating and exciting! Someday I hope to see India in person.

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  4. Looks like an interesting thing to see and enjoy. I love parades in our small town with all the homemade floats and groups of children walking either in costumes or as an organization. - Margy

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  5. Wonderful photos of the beautiful pageantry and divine colors!

    Happy Week to you,
    C & Z

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  6. I love the colorfulness of the parade. Being able to join makes it even more fun. We have a 4th of July Kiddies parade in town that anyone can join in. Sometimes the Husband and I do.

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