GOA: A LOOK INTO REDYACHI ZATRA
Mayem in Bicholim is known in Goa for its annual fair called the ‘Redyachi Zatra’. This ‘zatra’ is held with a lot of religious rituals and celebration exhibiting the socio-cultural heritage of the land.
In the past, during the fair, there was a custom of buffalo sacrifice. “This practice has been forbidden since over a quarter century, but despite this, the fair is known as the ‘Redyachi Zatra’ or the ‘Vhodali Zatra’, Mahamaya Kelbai Panchayatan attracts a large crowd of devotees from the various corners of Goa for the celebration that is held on the eight day of the second fortnight of the first month of the Hindu calendar Chaitra.
The sacred pitcher (Kalas) of the village deity was taken in a procession from Mahamaya temple in Gaonkarwada to Kelbai temple in Kelbaiwada. At midnight, a huge, lit, earthen lamp called ‘Maale’, and a basket with wooden masks of the folk deities were taken by the devotees to the Kelbai temple.The insignias locally called ‘tarangas’ of Pisso Ravalnath, Devaki and Krishna from Marcel of Vargao were ferried by a country canoe to Mayem for the fair. Kashinath Mayenkar from Mayem said, “Before the onset of mining, our village was forested and that is why even today, some traditions followed in the fair reflect the bond that exists between man and biodiversity and environment.
The ‘tarangas’ of Ravalnath, Bhutnath of Mayem along with Devaki, Krishna and Pisso Ravalnath of Marcel were kept at Chavatho where devotees throng for blessings. After the blessing ceremony, the ‘tarangas’ were taken back to Marcel on the canoe.