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Home     Goa Guide     Shirgao Zatra

Shirgao Zatra

One of the most important and interesting zatras of Goa is the sirigao zatra, held annually in the month of April or may in the mining village of sirigao.this zatra is in honor of goddess Lahirai,who is said to be one of the sisters of our Lady of Miracles of Mapusa.

At this zatra tons of wood are set ablaze accompanied by the chants and dancing of the colorfully attired dhonds (fire-walkers) waving their beths (staffs), invoking the blessings of the deity and her protection for fiery ordeal. To prepare for the zatra those who wish to be dhonds begin their five days of abstinence and follow a strict deity regimen which requires that the dhond bathes before partaking of food, and eat only while the body is still wet. Those who observe the ritual for the first time have to prepare for a month.

They cannot partake from flesh and any sort of alcoholic drink, and have to cut themselves away from the daily routine of life as to be better able to devote themselves entirely to prayer and penance. they have to keep their feet scrupulously clean and covered with sandals all the time because an accidental contact with impurity on the ground would blister and burn them during the fire ordeal.

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