Paragraph on Sanjhi (801 Words)

Here is your paragraph on Sanjhi:

This is a festival of Vraja. Fifteen days after Janamashtami occurs the birthday of his beloved Radha, on the eighth day of the waxing fortnight of the lunar month Bhadrapada (August-September).


It is in this same fortnight that Sanjhi festival is celebrated. During this festival, young unmarried girls and married woman during the first year of her marriage collect flowers, pebbles, coloured paper, cloth, etc. and construct a new design on the walls of their homes daily.

The preparations must be complete in the evening. The name Sanjhi is a vernacular form of Sanskrit sandhya or twilight and indicates the evening worship of the completed figures. The name has also come to refer to the female figure of the designs, whose-husband is known as Sanjha.

This worship, for the purpose of obtaining a five husband, is popular throughout northern India, where it is prac­ticed as the worship of Gauri, i.e. Parvati, the spouse of Siva. Parvati is a prime example of the ancient Mother Goddess, the fertile goddess of earth and increase. Each day materials such as flowers and leaves are collected and the previous day’s Sanjhi is eradicated.

The designs may be applied directly to the wall (in traditional village houses the wall is often made of earth and straw) but it is more usual for the decorative materials to be stuck into a background of cow-dung (often associ­ated with goddess Sri, the auspicious giver of prosperity and increase) which is replastered daily-similarly, in an orthodox Brahman home, the kitchen floor is replastered daily with a thin mixture of cow-dung and water.


The young girls may each make their own Sanjhi, but group efforts seem to be more usual. There are fixed symbols for many of the events of the regular programme, but each artisan uses her own ingenuity in creating an overall effect which is to be pleasing to the deity, conceived as Sanjhi personified.

These are the designs to be created during the fifteen days:

1st day:

On Bhadrapad Purnima (full moon) Viran (or Biran) Beti, Sanjhi’s parental home, is drawn and five thapiya (imprints of the palm of the hand) are made, symbolic of the coming of Sanjhi from her father-in-law’s house to her father’s house.

2nd day:

A woman seated in a doli (woman’s sedan chair or litter) is made, symbolic of Sanjhi’s arrival in her parental home.

3rd day:

A tivari, a building having three archways or openings, is made and Sanjhi is seated therein.

4th day:

A caupar, a cross-shaped hoard for a dice game, is drawn.

5th day:

Pan-supari, areca nut and spices wrapped in betel leaf, a traditional hospitable offering, is drawn.

6th day:

A small basket filled with sweet is made; this, like each of the above, is symbolic of Sanjhi’s welcome and the hospitality she is offered.

7th day:

An auspicious symbol, the svastika, is drawn.

8th day:

Eight-budded flowers, symbolic of the adornment of Sanjhi, are designed.

9th day:

A boat is drawn, for Sanjhi to go on a leisurely cruise.

10th day:

Pan (supari) are again made, indicative of respect, luxuriousness and “what Sanjhi likes best”.

11th day:

Twenty-one water chestnuts are drawn, for Sanjhi’s ekadasi (the fast traditional on the eleventh day of each fortnight) meal. One reference mentions a leaf plate and cup being made on this day for the sraddha or offering to the deceased ancestors which would take place on the following day.

12th day:

Skirts and shawls are drawn (lehnga, phariya, orhni) for Sanjhi is adorned with beautiful clothing in her familial home.

13th day:

Sanjhi is disturbed by the remembrance of her husband. To depict these emotions, a date-palm, stairway or a ladder, is drawn, with the feeling that Sanjhi climbs up on it to watch the road by which her husband would come.

14th day:

A lame Brahman and a crow are drawn, which give indication of the arrival of Sanjha, Sanjhi’s husband.

15th day:

Ekam, the new moon day. An especially elaborate representation, the kot (a castle or fort) or narvar kot, is made. It symbolizes the reunion of Sanjha and Sanjhi, whose faces are included therein. The kot is adorned with ornaments, kauri-s (cowrie shells), pieces of mirror, silver rupees; auspicious animals, such as elephants, are depicted around it. After the arati or worship in the evening, badhai, songs of congratulations, are sung.

When the fifteen days of worship have been completed, the remains of the wall drawings are gathered up; on the day of Dussehra (Dasahara), the celebration of the victory of Durga over the buffalo demon, the remains are consecrated to sacred waters, just as the images of goddess Durga (Mahisasurdardini) are thrown into river Ganges at Banaras, Ben­gal, Orissa, Assam, Tripura, Delhi and elsewhere after the Durgamahotsvam.

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