|Festivals of Sindhis|
Name of the festival: Chaliho Sahib
Place and community: Chailo or Chailo Sahib is a festival of the Sindhu Community.
Month: Chailo Sahib is a forty day fast observed by the Sindhis in the months of July-August. They pray to Lord Jhulelal for forty days and after the fast is over they celebrate the occasion as Thanks Giving Day with lots of gusto and festivities.
Background: Mirkshah Badshah, a Muslim invader of Sindh was a tyrant and a religious fanatic. He troubled the people of Thatta and wanted them to convert to Islam. The Hindus prayed to Varun Devta or the God of Water by observing penance on the banks of the river for forty days. On the fortieth, Varun Devta heard their prayers and promised them to save them from the tyrant. The answer to the prayers of the Hindus was Jhulelal. Since majority of the population of Thatta was of SindhiCommunity, Chailo Sahib became a festival of the Sindhis.
Activities: In order to thank God for rescuing them from the hands of the tyrant, the Sindhis observe Chailo Sahib even today with all devotion and faith. During those forty days, the following rules are followed by all Sindhis:
• No sleeping on bed, but on floor
• Avoiding consumption of white items like rice, curd or milk
• No fried eatables
• No shaving or cutting hair
• Avoiding non-vegetarian food
• Wearing simple clothes
• No use of soap or oil
• No wearing leather belts or shoes
The fast begins by tying a sacred thread by the Poojari. People lead a “brahmacharya” way of life and every morning Akho ie. rice and sugar are offered during morning prayers. During the evening devotees attend kirtan in the temples. One can keep a fast for the first 10 days, 21 days or 40 days according to one’s capacity. After completion of forty days, on the forty-first day BahiranaSahib is worshiped and a procession is taken out.
Sindhis always greet each other with “Jhulelal Bera-Hee-Paar” signifying that with the blessings of Lord Jhulelal the boat they will overcome all challenges and hardships.
Name of the Festival: Cheti Chand
Place or Community: Cheti Chand is Sindhi New Year and celebrated by the Sindhis all around the world.
Month: Cheti Chand is observed on the first day of the month of Chaitra. Chaitra is known as Cheti in Sindhi, hence Cheti Chand.
Description: Cheti Chand is Sindhi New Year which falls on the same day as that of Gudi Padwa which is the New Year day in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Cheti Chand is celebrated in honor of the birth of Jhulelal, the patron saint of the Sindhis. It is celebrated with pomp and gaiety by the SindhiCommunity. Many people take Baharana Sahib consisiting of Jyot, Misiri, Phota, Fal, Akha to the nearby river. An idol of Jhulelal Devta is also carried along.
On Sindhi New Year day if you want to wish a Sindhu a Happy New Year, you can say “Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav”. In response the other person can wish you “Tohan khe bhi Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav”.