Odho Jam is a traditional Sindhi festival celebrated by the Hindu community in the Sindh region of Pakistan. The festival is held in the month of Bhadrapada, which falls in August or September according to the Gregorian calendar.
The word “Odho” means “sacred fire” in Sindhi, and the festival is centered around the worship of fire. It is believed that on this day, the Hindu god Ganesha was born, and people offer prayers and perform rituals in his honor.
The festival begins with the preparation of a sacred fire, which is kept burning throughout the day and night. Devotees gather around the fire and perform aarti, a Hindu ritual in which a lamp or light is offered to the deity.
People also prepare a special dish called “ghewar,” which is a type of sweet made from flour, sugar, and ghee. It is considered an auspicious food and is distributed among family, friends, and neighbors.
Another important aspect of the Odho Jam festival is the traditional Sindhi dance known as “Chhejo.” It is a lively dance performed by women in colorful dresses and men in traditional attire. The dance is accompanied by the beat of the dhol, a traditional drum, and the sound of bells.
The festival is a symbol of the cultural diversity and religious harmony that exists in the Sindh region. It is celebrated by people of all religions, and the spirit of the festival brings communities together in a spirit of joy and unity.
However, in recent years, the festival has faced some challenges due to religious tensions in the region. Some extremist groups have tried to disrupt the celebrations, leading to fears about the future of this important cultural tradition.
Despite these challenges, the Odho Jam festival continues to be celebrated by the people of Sindh and remains an important symbol of their rich cultural heritage.