04 Apr 2024  |   07:00am IST

Sacred rituals create spectacle at Balli’s Gade festival

Sacred rituals create spectacle at Balli’s Gade festival

Team Herald

CUNCOLIM: The annual Shidiyotsav, popularly known as the Gade festival of Shree Shantadurga Ballikarin Sansthan, was celebrated with traditional fervor and devotion at Balli, Cuncolim. The highlight of this revered festival is the ritual involving a man known as Gado, who is tied face down to a 15-foot pole and swung in clockwise and anti-clockwise motions. Devotees then partake in Kaul Prasad, symbolising acceptance of blessings.

This age-old festival holds significant cultural and spiritual importance. One unique tradition is the 'Gado bhetovni', where boys receive blessings from the Goddess by having a needle and thread pinned to their abdomen. They fast and pray to the Kuldevi, seeking her divine grace.

Devotees flock to the festival to lay their worries and desires before Goddess Ballikarin, believing fervently that their prayers will be answered. Spanning five days, the festivities commence with the Shristi Divja fast and culminate with the Gado festival.

A poignant moment during the celebration is when Mahajans of the Devi perform the ritual of offering their children to the Goddess. A wooden log wave, known as Lath, is ceremoniously installed in front of the temple, preceding the Gado festival where blessings are imparted to devotees.

Throughout the festival, various rituals are observed, such as women offering divaj to the goddess and Devi being carried in a lion chariot. The climax arrives with the Maharatha procession, where Devi's Mahajans and Kulavi participate. The grand 

finale is the Gade festival, celebrated amidst a sea of devotees, marking the culmination of the auspicious occasion.

The Gade festival not only honours tradition but also serves as an expression of faith and devotion, drawing thousands to partake in the sacred rituals and seek blessings from the divine.


Iddhar Udhar