According to the Marathi calender the auspicious month of Shravan commenced this Wednesday. Shravan is that month in which it rains in abundance in most of India and after a hot summer the rains are welcomed by the farmers as they promise a good crop.
AlthoughI am not one to follow all the small customs and traditions dictated by the Marathi calender I do like some, particularly those which my mother used to follow mainly because they bring back good childhood memories. So here is one tradition I follow with my son on any one Friday in the month of Shravan. See the pic above and guess what I have made the lamps from. I am sure most of you might have guessed correctly, but for those who don't know I won't keep the suspense too long. They are made from Puran.
You will find most marathi households cooking puran on Shravani Shukrawar (Friday in the month of Shravan). It is a speaciality and made on most auspicious occasions like poojas, weddings and festivals etc. In fact in some households it is considered so auspicious to cook puran that it has to be cooked in a small quantity on each festival even though the main sweetdish that day might be something else. Puran is mainly made for Puran poli,the recipe of which you will find on Vaishali's Happy Burp, but it can be eaten just as it is with ordinary chappatis too. Thats what my son loves. Of course he does manage to even gobble quite a lot of it just like that.
So on any one friday in Shravan I make these small puran lamps and prepare a pooja thali. The tradition is to apply the red kumkum on the forehead of all the children in the house ,show them the lit lamps by holding the thali in front of them and move the thali in circular motion in front of the child's face. This sounds a bit odd to explain in English but I don't know how else to do . Well for the child the fun part is when he gets to eat the lamps after the ritual. I know I used to enjoy it. And that below is my 4 year old looking forward to eating his lamps.