There's a special ritual in Nerul prior to clam-harvesting

The people of Nerul, in Bardez, observe a unique ritual, called ‘Uffar’, before they start the task of harvesting clams.
There's a special ritual in Nerul prior to clam-harvesting

Once the Uffar ritual is over, the work of harvesting clams from the river begins 

PIC COURTESY: Atish Naik

In Goa, there are several traditions and feasts that are observed and celebrated by the fishing community. Feasts of various saints and deities are held, seeking their blessings on the fishermen, their families and their businesses.

There are several fishing communities in North Goa, and one such community can be found in Maima Wado, in Nerul village, which is located in Bardez taluka.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Dhadeshwar is the local guardian spirit</p></div>

Dhadeshwar is the local guardian spirit

PIC COURTESY: Atish Naik

Around March/April, soon after the Mahashivratri celebrations, people gather at Dhadeshwar Temple, in Nerul, generally on the Sunday following Mahashivratri. Dhadeshwar is the local guardian spirit of the village, and it is believed that he is the protector of the village, protecting it from all sorts of danger and harm.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Devotees gather at the temple to celebrate the annual 'Uffar'</p></div>

Devotees gather at the temple to celebrate the annual 'Uffar'

PIC COURTESY: Atish Naik

The devotees offer local clams (tisryo) made of gold, along with puris (deep-fried bread, made from unleavened whole-wheat flour), coconuts, supari arecanut), paan (betel leaf with areca), and other sweets. These are offered to the River Sinquerim, following which, prayers are recited at the temple.

This ritual is known as Uffar, and marks the beginning of the clam-harvesting season in the village of Nerul.

The local variety of clams, Nirlichyo Tisryo, are highly popular in the state and are easily available across the village, which means that it is a rather profitable business for the villagers!

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A gold clam is offered to the River Sinquerim during Uffar&nbsp;</p></div>

A gold clam is offered to the River Sinquerim during Uffar 

PIC COURTESY: Atish Naik

Sadly, during the past three years, there have been no traces of these coveted clams in the river, and villagers are clueless as to reasons why this is happening. One possible cause is very likely to be the increasing amounts of trash and broken beer bottles, carelessly dumped into the river by tourists. Nevertheless, the villagers hope to have a decent catch this year.

The season for harvesting these clams comes to an end on August 1 annually.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Once the <em>Uffar </em>ritual is over,  the work of harvesting clams from the river begins </p></div>
Best of Street Food: 4 must-try street foods while in Goa

Your Gateway to Goa, India

The Gomantak Times app is the best way to stay informed on anything happening in Goa. From breaking news to the top 10 restaurants to visit, GT helps you navigate your time in Goa.

Download the Gomantak Times app on your Android or IOS device.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Gomantak Times
www.gomantaktimes.com