chapter  XV
2 Pages

THE TERAH TEZĪ AND ĀKHIRĪ CHĀRSHAMBA FESTIVALS

THE Prophet, who died on the t)Velfth day of the mouth Rabi'u-1-awwal, in the eleventh year of the Hijra, June 8, A, D, 632, had been attacked by illness for thirteen days before his death. Hence the first thirteen days of the month Safar, which is called 'victorious, auspicious' (muz.affar), are known as the ' Thirteen of heat or fever ', Terah Tezi, and they arc held to be unlucky because the Prophet-on whom be the Blessing !-was seriously ill, and his condition is said to have shown signs of improvement on the thirteenth day. Should a marriage take place about this time, bride and bridegroom are not allowed to meet, nor should any good work be undertaken. On the thirteenth, or rather on the twelfth, calculated from the evening on which the moon becomes visible, all bathe. They take some pulse (mash, phaseolus radiatus), wheat and sesamum, mix them, put a small cup of oil on the tray in which the grain is laid, look three times on their faces reflected in the oil, and each time drop a few grains of the corn into it. They also put some eggs and small coppers in the tray, and the whole contents are given away to Faqirs and the Halalkhor outcasts, ' those to whom all things are lawful food '. They themselves on that day eat rice and pulse, sheep's head and its offal, and send some to relatiom, and friends. Others mix gram and wheat with sugar, coco-nut kernels, and poppy seed, and reciting the Fatiha, in the name of the Prophet-on whom be the Blessing !-throw some on the roof of the house, eat and distribute the rest. There is no reason for ceremonial bathing on this day, a new custom introduced by women.