Kharchi Puja is a festival where the 14 gods that comprise the dynastic deity of the Tripuri community are worshipped in the state of Tripura in northeast India. The rituals are observed for a whole week in the temple dedicated to the 14 gods which is located in the state’s capital city of Agartala. The festival is celebrated on the 8th day of the new moon in the month of July. It can also sometimes fall in the month of June or August.
Kharchi Puja 2021 Date
In 2021, Kharchi Puja will be celebrated on 17th July, Saturday.
|Kharchi Puja||Saturday, 17 July 2021||Tripura|
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Origin of the Festival
The word ‘'kharchi’' means ‘'earth’' and is derived from the word ‘'khya’'. It is also derived from the words ‘'khar’' which means ‘'sin’' and ‘'chi’' which means ‘'cleaning’'. So it is a festival where there is a ritual cleaning of the earth. This is a festival that worships the earth, along with the 14 dynastic deities, and has tribal origins. However, it is celebrated by both tribal and non-tribal communities.
Mythology Behind the Festival
According to the mythology behind the festival, the earth mother or mother goddess menstruates during this time, which is called Ama pechi or Ambu bachi. The soil is not ploughed during these days since the earth is considered to be unclean during the period of menstruation of the mother goddess. The Kharchi puja is conducted to ritualistically clean out the earth after her menstruation is over.
The rituals associated with the Kharch puja lasts for 7 days. On the day of the puja, from the temple premises in Agartala, the idols of the 14 deities are carried to the Saidra river, which is considered to be holy. After a dip in the river, they are carried back to the temple. After the ritual bath, the idols are decorated with flowers and vermillion paste on their foreheads.
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A wide variety of sweets are offered as ‘'prasad’'. The meat of goat, buffalo, and pigeons is also offered as sacrifices to the gods and taken as ‘'prasad’'. A magnificent fair is organised where cultural programmes are conducted all through the day. Thousands of people take part in these festivities.
Although festivities last for a week, a public holiday is declared by the government for one day.
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