According to Hindu calender, today is Karthika Shuddha Dwadashi or Uthan Dwadashi. This day is celebrated as “Tulsi pooja” or “Tulsi Vivah(Tulsi wedding)”. Almost all the Konkanis have a structure called as “Tulsi katte” in front of home which has a Tulsi (Holy basil) plant in it. A lamp is lit in front of this daily and worshiped. The “Tulsi katte” at my native looks like follows.
On “Tulsi pooja”, this structure is decorated with sugar canes and flowers. We have a square removable wooden structure which is fixed around the Tulsi katte and sugar canes are tied to this wooden structure and decorated with flowers. Few Amla(goose berry) and tamarind tree branches, along with Amla and tamarind, are planted on the sides of Tulsi plant. In the evening, after sunset, lights are lit on the square wooden structure. Bhatmam(priest) goes to all the houses and performs a wedding of Tulsi to a small statue of Vishnu or Saligram(a form of Vishnu). All kids who attend the function burn crackers. Sweets, sugar cane pieces, churmuri(puffed rice) and coconut pieces are distributed to all the people who come to see this pooja.
These decorations are usually removed on the next day. Along with this, all the lightnings done for Diwali, like the colored lights and “Akashabutti” – a small paper basket kind of thing which is tied around a light, are also removed. Usually “Tulsi pooja” signifies the end of Diwali.
More about Tulsi here.
As a kid, this was one of my favorite festivals. I liked to decorate the Pooja-thalis, draw Rangolis in front of the Tulsi katte and burn crackers..
The main sweet we prepare on this day is Sweet poha – poha prepared with jaggery(goD). Molasses, which is generally called as “Pattal goD“(liquid jaggery) is used for this dish. So the actual Sweet poha is almost black in color(takes the color of molasses). I was not having molasses with me, so I used normal jaggery and prepared this dish today to get a feel of Tulsi pooja here.
Thin poha 1 cup
Molasses(or jaggery) 1 tbl spn
Grated coconut(fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup
Ghee 1 tea spn
Cardamom powder 1/4 tea spn
Roasted sesame seeds(optional) 1 tea spn
Mix molasses, coconut, ghee with hand. Now add poha and mix well. Sprinkle some water to make the poha a bit wet.
Add cardamom and roasted sesame seeds(optional) and mix well.
Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5mins