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Zatra

Zatra means pilgramage festivals in Konkani language. The term is equivalent to yatra and jatra in Hindi and Marathi respectively. It is celebrated in hindu temples in goa. The idols or Murti`s, as called in hindi, of hindu diety or dieties are taken out on this day for special processions. They are taken out in a `palkhi` which is a kind of a Palanquin. Some even carry them on a large, multi-storied chariot called the Rath.

The zatra of temple of the Hindu deiy Damodar at Zambaulim, is the most famous zatra of goa. This place is also famous for people walking on burning coals bare foot. It is about 40 km away from Margao. All zatras usually fall in the month of october after the famous hindu festival of light called Diwali .It continues till the festival of shigmo in March. Traditionally, every temple observes the festival on the tradational day, once a year.

Another event in this festival is the phenomenon of possession by the spirit of the diety. This phenomenon, usually but not exclusively, occur to women. They then claim to predict future events and act as oracles. This is one of the most unique and entertaining events in the Zatra festival. A lot of people come to witness this unique spectacle. Other famous Zatra that occur outside goa is the Rath Yatra of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa, India,. This is also the origin of the english word Juggernaut.




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