Ever heard of a night OFFICIALLY dedicated to getting drunk & eating to heart’s content? Read on to know about this strange but amazing tradition from Maharashtra.
The last day of Ashadh Month of Vikram Samvat is celebrated as Deep-Amavasya/दीप अमावस्या — a day when homes are cleaned, all lamps (Diya) are gathered on a Chaurang decorated with Rangoli & lighted, much like Diwali/Deepavali. The Pooja is dedicated to the Pancha Mahabhoot i.e. Air, Water, Fire, Sky and the Earth. Also, in some places this day also marks beginning of Jivati – a Friday fast during the month of Savan, devoted to Goddess Jivantika. Tradition is that on this day carpenters visit people’s homes & hammer a small nail at the door for good luck & receive dakshina for the same. This day is also observed as ‘Bheemana Amavasya‘ in Karnataka and ‘Chukkala Amavasya‘ in Andhra Pradesh and ‘Hariyali Amavas‘ in Gujarat state. Ashadhi Amavasya is also highly auspicious day for Pitru tarpan and Pinda daan.
With so many spiritual practices/traditions associated with this day, there is an interesting tradition from Maharashtra thats not-so-spiritual — Gataari/गटारी. The name is derived from the word ‘Gutter’. Strange? Read on.
The month of Savan/Shravan is traditionally spent in spiritual practices all over India. Hence, people avoid consumption of Non-veg & alcohol and other vices for this whole month. Abstaining from Nonveg & Alcohol is also advisable in this Month/Season from Health’s perspective, since digestion is at its weakest during this time of the year.
Now comes the interesting part.
Since there would be restrain on Alcohol & Non-veg for the whole month, for those who enjoy these, it seems like a good idea to indulge in these to their heart’s content. They would enjoy alcohol on the last day of Ashadh month, just before Savan begins & get so drunk that it’d be difficult to even walk straight & they’d fall in Gutter on their way back home… or atleast thats the idea. Hence the name Gataari, derived from the word ‘Gutter’.
Gataari is a day to celebrate the vices that we need to keep under control… just like a gutter that safely leads all the sewage out, not allowing it to overflow & cause problems — and that is the most important message one should take away from Gatari — to keep what belongs in gutter, in gutter; not allowing it to overflow & spill out.
Happy Gatari to everyone who is planning a Gataari celebration with friends and a humble request and reminder — please DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE.