Thadri is a festival celebrated by the Sindhi community world over. The festival is also called Vadi Sattain by some. Some other Hindu communities celebrate the festival on the same day by various other names such as Saatam. The festival is in reverence of the Goddess of cooling known as Sheetla Mata.
The Sindhis prepare their traditional meals for the day on the Chhath day which is a day before the Sattain. A sweetened flat bread called Mitho Lolo is the much awaited serving of the day that is first offered to the goddess and then consumed.
Traditional prayers include the Lodo and Chhando where a replica of the Goddess imprinted on a silver flat pendant ( a prized possession of most households) is immersed in a pot of water that contains soaked gram seeds. Usually families hold the pot on a flat surface such as the floor or a table and rock it together while chanting praises of the Goddess. The mantra is chanted for a minimum of seven times. Various families have their own version of the mantra. This is followed by sprinkling of this holy water on each individual.
Small roundels of the sweetened flat bread are adorned with blobs of butter and placed over the eyes and in some cases all over the individual’s body in a gesture symbolizing protection from disease and another traditional mantra is chanted while doing so.
On the day of Thadri one is not supposed to have any freshly cooked meal or drink and no warm stuff is consumed as it is a day of cooling. As children we would always be very excited for this festival as we got to enjoy all the traditional sindhi delicacies such as mithi maani, seyal phulka, sana pakora, besani, daal ji maani, mirchai pakora, bhugal bhaji, taryal bhaji, nankhatai, mithha chautha, mathho, dahi vada, chaat papri, patata taryal, khatto bhatt, karelan ji bhaji, seyal bhaji, chutney wara mirch to name a few. But the brightest moment was always the time when we would get kharchi as token money from all elders in the family.
In Nairobi now, we celebrate the festival together with other Sindhi families. However, if it is a week day and people are at work, then it becomes a festive joy for the ladies exclusively. They dance, they sing, they pray, they relish the goodies and even play cards and fun games to keep themselves entertained .
Sharing below are glimpses through pictures of this year’s celebration that was marked a day before the Krishna Janamashtmi.