An atmosphere of festivity and fervour at the Lairai 'zatra' in Shirgao

Katia Goes & Evelyn Siqueira

The zatra of goddess Lairai is celebrated annually at the Lairai Devi Temple in Shirgao, Bicholim, in the month of Vaishakh. This year, the zatra was celebrated on April 24, 2023.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai Idol | Photo: Sandeep Desai

Keeping up with the festive spirit, devotees could be seen in colourful, traditional attire.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai|Tradition

Lairai's favourite mogra flowers (jasmine) were sold at every nook and cranny of the temple area.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai| Mogra flowers | Photo: Sandeep Desai

The dhonds walked several kilometers towards Shree Lairai Devi Temple in Shirgao, after which all rituals commence.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai| Dhonds | Photo: Sandeep Desai

The idol of goddess Lairai was adorned with several garlands of sweet smelling mogra flowers, which are indigenous to the state.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai|Mogra flowers | Photo: Atharv Salgaonkar

The preparation of the homkund is an important ritual that culminates into a night of walking on hot coals.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai|Homkund | Photo: Atharv Salgaonkar

One of the important rituals of the zatra is the dhonds taking a holy dip in the water on the day of the zatra.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai|Dhonds | Photo: Sandeep Desai

People from all over Goa attend the Lairai zatra which is a very popular festival in the state.

Goa|Lairai zatra| Shirgao|Godess Lairai | Photo: Sandeep Desai

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