Basoda is the festival that comes after the festival of colors, Holi. It is usually celebrated after 8 days of Holi. However, some families or communities celebrate it on the first monday or thursday after the Holi. Basoda is the main festival of many parts of north India like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.
This festival is also known as Sheetla Ashtami. On the day of Basoda, people worship Goddess Mata Sheetla, and pray for their well being. It is believed that Mata Sheetla save her devotees, from the diseases like chickenpox, measles and smallpox etc.
The festivals of Basoda comes during the weather change, therefore, this time is also considered as the starting of summer season. Many changes are encountered in our environment during this season. Mata Sheetla is the goddess of hygiene and cleanliness. By worshiping Mata Sheetla on the day of Basoda, people take her blessings to protect themselves from the harmful effects or diseases of the upcoming season.
The word ‘Basoda’ actually refers to ‘Basi’ or stale. It is a tradition that on the day of Basoda, people don’t lit fire in their kitchens. The whole food is prepared one day before the festival. Only Basi or stale food is consumed by people on the day of Basoda. They enjoy cold lunch and dinner. Some families or communities also follow some special menus for celebrating Basoda. Some special traditional sweets like Gulgule or sweet chila are also prepared.
Rajasthan: In Rajasthan, special Sheetla Mata Melas (fairs) are organised on different places. People visit these Melas with full enthusiasm and enjoy the festival. They worship Mata Sheetla to take her blessings. Malpua, Ker Sangri, Poori, Roti and Gulgule are the main food items for Basoda.
Madhya Pradesh: In the Sheetla Mata Shakti Dham in Madhya Pradesh, a great fair is organised every year on the festival of Basoda. This fair attracts lots of tourists and devotees from all around the country.
Gujarat: People of Gujarat worship Goddess Sheetla and special food items are prepared for celebrating the festival of Basoda.
On the day of Basoda, Sheetla Mata is worshipped by pronouncing her Katha (story). Then Mantras are pronounced by the devotees to please and honor the Goddess. As on the day of Basoda, food is not prepared; therefore, food prepared one day before are distributed among the devotees as Prasad.
So, worship Goddess Mata Sheetla on the day of Basoda and follow these traditions. Take her blessings to stay fit and healthy during the whole season of summers.