In Bengal, Jamai Sashti is a day, exclusively for son-in-laws; when they get a day to come closer with in-law’s family in a very traditional way. On the day of Jamai Sashti, the in-laws invite their daughter and son-in law for a grand feast, which is preceded by few rituals. The 'jamai' or the son-in-law is treated with his favourite delicacies by his in-laws specially to ensure that he treats their daughter with due respect for the rest of the year! 😀 While the centre of attention is the son-in-law, the main person behind the event is the mother-in-law, who, in addition to undertaking the rituals and in charge of all the planning.
The Story behind Jamai Shasti:
It is said that Jamaishasthi originated ages ago as a part of a women's socio-religious duty. Goddess Shasthi is always worshipped by the women folk of the family for the goodwill of their children. It was told that there once existed a family in a certain town whose youngest daughter-in-law was a greedy woman. She used to eat most of the dishes and blame it on the cat that used to frequent their home. The cat who is the vehicle of Goddess Shasthi complained about the in justice done to her. It is said the daughter-in-law of the household gave birth to seven sons and a daughter but all her children were stolen from her. Heartbroken she was driven away from home to the jungle. While she sat crying Goddess Shasthi took pity on her and appeared before her in the guise of an old woman. When the young woman poured out her sorrow, Shasthi reminded her of her past wrongdoings. She repented and asked for mercy. She was then asked to perform some social rituals which brought back her children. This story inspired many women to pray to the Goddess Shasthi for their children and perform puja. This slowly took turn to Jamai Shasthi.
On the arrival of the daughter and son-in-law a brief social ritual was performed. The son-in-law is given five fruits followed by 'aashirbad' with 'dhan and dubbo'. A mark or a "phota" with curd is applied on the forehead of the son-in-law and a yellow thread; called ‘Sashti Suto’ tied around his wrist.
Including special Bengali dishes such as 'various fish delicacies', 'prawn malaikari' & special sweets; the full course lunch is prepared by the loving mother-in-law for her son-in-laws. Bowls of vegetable curries and various fish curries elaborately arrange around the main dish, a plate full of rice or pollau.
Fish Market in Jamai Sashti!😁
After the ‘Royal’ meal is over, Bengal's spacial 'Mishti Pan' or Pan Mashala is in the queue; and the rest of the day is spent on friendly and warm social interaction. The occasion is meant to bring the couple, especially the son-in-law closer to the wife's family. As such it is a family festival and aimed to further secure the family ties.
**This Jamai Sashti, use LAL HIT to get a cockroach-free and fragrant kitchen and say #NoMoreFoodPoisioning!