chapter  XXIII
1 Pages

THE FESTIVAL OF THE SAINT BANDA NAWĀZ, GESŪ DARĀZ

Tms festival is observed on the. sixteenth day of the last month of the Musalman calendar, Zu-1-qa'da, also called the month of Banda Nawaz. His Holiness Banda Nawaz, Sayyid Muhammad Gesu Daraz, 'he of the long locks ',-May God sanctify his sepulchre !-was a great Wali or_Saint, who came to Gulbarga or Kulbarga in the Nizam's Dominions during the reign of Firoz Shah Bahmani 2 in A. D. 1413, and died there in 1432. He was told in one of his reveries that when, for good reason, people were unable to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, a visit once in their lives to his mausoleum would convey the same merit. On the sixteenth day of the month they perform here his Sandal rite, and on the night following, the seventeenth day or the eighteenth for Musalmans, they observe the anniversary of his death ('urs) with splendour equal to that of the same ceremony in honour of His Excellency Qadirwali Sahib at Nagor-Nagpatan, as already described. Nay, if possible they observe it with greater splendour. In other parts of the country, however, it is on _the fifteenth and sixteenth that they have illuminations in his name, cook cakes or stew, offer the Fatiha over the food, send some to relatives, eat some themselves, and distribute to others. On the night of the sixteenth, or by Musalman reckoning the seventeenth, some people light sixteen lamps with butter, place them on cakes and offer the Fatiha over them, as previously described.