In the Mid march every year the festival of offering flowers and giving blessings is celebrated in the mountains of Uttarakhand. The festival is known as Phool Dei. During the festival little girls walk around their neighborhood with a plate full of rice, jaggery, and flowers. The kids in the mountains are considered to be closer to god thus they are harbinger and bearers of prosperity and happiness in the households so they visit everyone’s house showering them their blessings. The little kids also sprinkle flowers and rice on the doorsteps of these households which is a sign off their blessings. They also sing the song of
Phool dei, chamma dei
deno dwar, bhur bakar
yo dei sei namaskar puje dwar.
This song was also played in the movie Tubelight in the song ‘ Naach Meri Jaan’ .
The festival is also the messenger of new flowers, a new season and an altogether a new beginning to a beautiful tomorrow. It is celebrated in all the parts of Uttarakhand as this is the season when after immense cold and snow the state tree begins to blossom and spreads happiness with its smiling flowers.
The rice collected after the end of the festival is used to cook Sei, which is a local sweet dish of Uttarakhand made of rice, ghee, curd jaggery, and dry fruits.
Well, those were the days and I still can’t get over them. I miss being kids and walking around with plates in our hands. That day we would get up early, get ready and leave to shower the blessings before we had to leave for school. Some aunties actually prepared us breakfast because they knew we would be rushing to school after this.
This day’s cold and soft running breeze,
make me miss that mountain freeze
which made you cold from top to down,
but still, you loved being out around.
This day was ours and we loved it there,
walking around the neighborhood showering blessings and care.
Singing songs that announced our calls,
and collecting our presents from each household.
With rice and flowers and jaggery in plates,
we would be running around before the school would begin.
We would come back home and check all we got,
and decide on where to go for the evening snack and talk.
But ma would cook a beautiful dessert of Sei each year,
and the family would be enjoying the evening together.
Sitting alone I still miss those days each day,
I wish I could turn back time and be a kid again.
Pic credits: https://www.euttaranchal.com/culture/phool-dei
Featured image: Painting by Yashodhar Mathpal