What is Jamai Sasthi:
Jamai in the Bengali language is Son-in-law. Jamai Sasthi is a Bengali celebration which is observed to elevate the relationship with the son-in-law of a family. According to the Bengali calendar, it is celebrated on the sixth day of Jaishtha month, and according to the Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated in the month of June. Son-in-law receives grand treatment at his in-law’s house on this day. The mother-in-law is supposed to cook various delicacies for the son-in-law and organize the whole celebration.
History of Jamai Sasthi:
Goddess Sasthi is worshiped on Jamai Sasthi. Shashthi or Shashti is a Hindu folk goddess and the benefactor and protector of children. Shashthi is depicted as a motherly figure, with a lot of infants in her arms. She is usually depicted as yellow or golden. She is also the deity of vegetation and reproduction. It is believed that she bestows children and assist during child birth.
Once there were three sons and three daughters-in-law in a family. Amongst the three daughters in law, the youngest one was very greedy and ate all the food of the house but blamed all this on a black cat. The black cat stole all her newborn seven children turn by turn and gave them to Goddess Sasthi. After losing her children she became sad and regretted her actions. Therefore Goddess Sasthi appeared and asked her to seek mercy from the cat. She admired that cat and worshiped Goddess Sasthi by performing all rituals. In the end, she got all her children back. Since then this festival is celebrated for the children wellbeing.
2023 Jamai Sasthi Date Time
Thursday, 8 June
Rituals of Jamai Sasthi:
Jamai Sasthi is a day of prayer, celebrations, and rituals, done to appease Goddess Sasthi to protect children, couples and the entire family. On the occasion, the sons-in-law are invited by their in-laws. A number of rituals are performed by the mother-in-law for the wellbeing of their son-in-law and daughter. The son-in-law is welcomed by his in-laws in the traditional way. When the son in law along with the daughter arrives, the mother holds a thali or a plate which contains dhan (paddy) dubbo (grass) and 5 other different fruits. The mother then sprinkles some grains and grass on the head of her son-in-law and then blesses him. After putting a small mark called phota on his forehead with curd, she ties a yellow thread known as Shasthi thread on his wrist. This ritual is considered quite auspicious.
On the occasion of Jamai Shasthi, the whole family of the daughter gets engaged in elaborate celebrations. A small feast is organized where the mother-in-law prepares some exotic Bengali dishes. The cuisines include a number of fish preparations, as fish is an all-time favorite of the Bengali families. Other preferred delicacies of the son in law are also served. Another important part of the menu is the “rosogollas”, a special Bengali delicacy and other different types of sweets are also served during the feast. After the grand feast, some social functions are conducted, which helps to enhance the bond between the family members.
Importance of celebrating Jamai Sasthi:
- Jamai Shasthi brings the couple especially the son-in-law (Jamai) closer to the family of the in-laws.
- This also helps in constructing a safe and sound family bonding.
- A lively atmosphere of fun and interaction with the Jamai prevails in the house of the in-laws.