Plant Myths, Religious Importance, and Traditions in Uttarakhand (Himalaya) – 21
By: Bhishma Kukreti, M.Sc. (Botany) (Mythology, Culture Research Scholar)
Botanical name – Hordeum vulgare
Local name – Jau, जौ
Hindi Name – Jau, जौ
Sanskrit Name –Akshta, Aksta, Dhanyaraja
Economic benefits – Many medicinal and food values (Will explain in other chapter)
Barley (Jau) Myths, Religious Importance and Traditions on Basant Panchami
There are many religious importance of barley in Uttarakhand. However, one of the very important aspects of barely myth is putting barley plants on door head sides on Basant Panchami. This ritual perhaps, is exclusive in India.
Basant Panchami is sign of arrival of spring in India.
On Basant Panchami, the iron smith of the family uses up root barely with roots before sun rise. Then before sun rise, the iron smith puts piles of barley plants with root on the courtyard of his master (Thakur).
After taking bath by all family members the ritual of sticking barley plant on both sides of door head starts. Turmeric Pithai is spit on barley plants. The four or five barely roots are put on fresh cow dung. Then cow dung with barely roots are stuck on both sides of door heads. The barley stems with leaves hang downside on Singar of door. The person sees that the dung and roots are properly stuck. Usually, elder the family member puts turmeric on door center head and on barley stuck on door head too (Pithai). Barley roots with cow dung are stuck on each door of house and cattle yard too.
After the rituals, people start taking Puri-Pakode.
People color a new white cloth by turmeric solution as symbol of Basant Panchami.
This is the day, in Garhwal and Kumaon, collective song and dance also start in night. This song and dance in night continues till Bikhot (Baishakhi).
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai 2017
Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Garhwal, Uttarakhand ; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, Himalaya; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, North India; Plant Myths , Religious Importance, Traditions , Uttarakhand, South Asia