Jamai Sasthi: Rich and Prestigious Bengali Tradition
India is a culturally rich land. Many amazing festivals are celebrated here of which the citizens have not even heard about. A beautiful festival called ‘Jamai Shasti’ is celebrated in Kolkata which displays beautiful bonding of son-in-law with his in-laws. The traditional festival of Jamaishasthi originated ages ago as a part of a women's socio-religious duty.
The son-in-law is called 'Jamai' and 'Shasti' means sixth, thus the festival is observed on sixth day of shukla paksh in Jyestha month of traditional Hindu calendar.
This popular social custom lays foundation of a strong family bonding. All the son-in-laws get a treat from his in-laws or 'Shoshur bari'. The day is celebrated since older days by the Hindu families all over West Bengal. A party is organized the in-laws for their daughter and her husband.
Bengalis loves to cherish their relationships by assigning a special festival or set of rituals for each of them. In Bengali, the word ‘Jamai’ means son-in-law and ‘Sashti’ is the 6th day of ‘Shukla Pakkha’ in the Bengali month ‘Jaishtha’. Jamai Sashti is that popular social custom when Bengali son-in-laws spend quality time with his in-laws and receive gifts and treats from their ‘Shoshur Bari’, as they call it in Bengal.
On Jamai Sasthi, the married daughter and her husband visit the house of in-laws and the union is celebrated with great pomp and show. Lavish arrangements are made to welcome the duo. Clothes, sweets and fruits are presented as gifts to the couple. Sumptuous meals are cooked featuring all traditional delectable Bengali dishes like ‘Chingri macher malaikari’, ‘Shorshe Illish’, Kasha Mangsho, ‘Payesh’, ‘Doi, Misti ’ and many more.
Mother-in-laws cook special dishes and invite their daughter and Sons-in-law to honor them with a feast that essentially consists of Hilsa fish. The son-in-law is welcomed by his in-laws in traditional way with a "phota" of curd on his forehead and a yellow thread is tied on the right hand wrist and forehead.
The thread is coloured yellow with turmeric and is called ‘Shashti Suto’ which have blessing of Ma Shashti who takes care of children. Son-in-law is presented gifts, sweets and fruits and he too gives gifts to the mother-in-law. Then mother-in-law performs the ritual in which a plate having six fruits is touched with the Jamai’s forehead.
The day is observed as Aranya Sasthi in many other regions. The festival plays vital role in bringing the couple especially the son-in-law (Jamai) closer to the in-law family, thus helps in making family ties safe and sound. Bengalis are famous for their love for food. After performing the rituals a small feast is organized.
Best and favourite delicacies of one’s son-in-law are prepared. The guests are then served exotic Bengali dishes. Various fish delicacies, prawn malaikari and the most famous Bengali sweet ‘Sandesh’ are a must. The mother-in-law fanned her son-in-law with a palm leaf while he gorges on his food.
Jamai Sasthi is a festival held in the summer season (Bengali Month Jaishta), in the season of typical Bengali juicy fruits like Mango, Litchi, Black-berry, Talsaans (Palm Seeds) and Jackfruit etc. On this auspicious day, a grand feast is organised to mark the occasion. The celebration of this festival is an integral part of the rich culture and tradition of West Bengal.
All the son-in-laws get a treat from his in-laws or 'Shoshur bari'. Like every year iti celebrates Jamai Sasthi exotic Bengali dishes like Bhapa Illish, Galda Chingrir Mallai Curry, Mangsho, Lal Doi, Misti, Mishti Aam and more!
Son-in-laws are the centre of everybody’s attention on the day. He thoroughly enjoys and loves the attention he is getting from his in-laws. The social activity was more intense in earlier times.