Jivitputrika also known as Jitiya is celebrated from the seventh to ninth day in Krishna paksha of the lunar calendar in the month of Ashwin. This is celebrated in southern region of Nepal by Maithili, Tharu, Bhojpuri, and Awadhi speaking people.
Jitiya is the strict fast done without water by the mother for the well-being of their children. This starts on seventh lunar day or saptami of Ashwin and concludes on ninth day or nawami of the month. This festival is celebrated by all the mothers in the community to celebrate their relationship with their kids.
Jitiya is not only special as my mom does it for us, but she also smashed the rooted patriarchy in our community to observe Jitiya. In my family as in many others, Jitiya was observed only by those moms who has son and not only daughters. Even the Prasad was only given to male not the female. My grandmother was against my mom to observe this fast. But she took this decision to fast the same year I left for USA.
By saying this I don’t favor the strict fast by any means, but I can’t overlook the fact that she can go above and beyond for the well-being of her kids. First time when I had Prasad of Jitiya was when I was 16 and mithu di (Mrs. Sujata Deo) gave me prasad.
As I said we live in materialistic world and these kind of emotions means the world to me. Not saying that some of the parents do not put kids as secondary, they do but there are parents whose whole world revolve around their kids. This touched my core and was perfect example of one step at a time.
I do talk about women’s right, but these ladies are my role model and perfect example of how I got their shoulder to be vocal and express myself. My mom and mithu di are rock solid to smash one thing at a time and perfect ray of hope.
We live in very fast-paced world in this 21st century. We always want to do anything and everything that is considered as fun for us in this era. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and I am not the one to do moral policing.
This festival holds special place in my heart as it always signifies the amount of sacrifices every mom makes to bring smile on their kid’s face. The saying that nobody can love you the way your parents do is the eternal truth. Always love your parents selflessly not ever stating, “I have done so much for my parents”, which is never true. And let’s stop using stating like “till parents are alive” or “parents can’t be with us forever”. Because parents do not even think of those statement that has negative connotation with the detrimental sentiment for their kids.
Let’s join our hands together to applaud the parents that we have been blessed with. So, I want to wish all the mothers who is mother by blood relation or heart and celebrate Jitiya, a very happy Jitiya but do take care of your health too. And if your health doesn’t allow, do not go for the strict fast 😊.
Happy Jivitputrika/Jitiya 2078 B.S.