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Pann Deun

"Pann / Pun Deun" is one of the important celebrations of Kashmiri Pandits. The auspicious day on which this day is celebrated is one of the few days of bright lunar fortnight of Bhadroon around Ganesh Chuturthi festival.Kashmiri Pann - Pun Story In Kashmir it is called 'Vinayak Choram' and out of all dates the most auspicious day is Sunday - "Vinayak Choram Te Aathwaar". The day starts with the making of the Roths. The (any married) lady of the family takes the full charge of the occassion and rest of the ladies in the house follow her. The work starts with collecting fresh water, washing all the utensils and making sure everything used for the The head lady has to wear a cotton thread made by an unmarried girl and put her around her right ear during the making of the Roths. Pann Puja is extremely pure. Throughout the making of the Roths no one is allowed to gossip, rather the task is carried by chanting holy mantras.
After the Roths are prepared they are kept in a big cane basket and covered with fresh cotton cloth. These Roths are not allowed to be touched or eaten before the Puja. Then the big Lota or Gadvi is filled with fresh water and decorated with garlands, silver foil, Naerivan (Mauli) and Sindoor or Kum-Kum. Now this Lota is covered with a big Roth and couple of small ones and some dry fruits, fresh fruits etc. Now the head lady ties the Naerivan on the wrist and applies tilak on the forehead of all the family members. They then sit with some washed grains, flowers and little fresh grass (Dramun) in their folded hands and any member of the family (who fully knows the story) narrates the traditional story of the "Beib Darb Maej". As the story ends, the lady opens the lid of the lota which was covered with the Roth and every one offers grains, flowers, dramun etc to the goddess wishing prosperity and health. Then the Roths are distributed among all the members of the family as Prasad. These Roths are also distributed among relatives, neighbors and friends.

Significance:
It is said that our ancestors wanted girls in the family to be independant and capable of earning money for themselves. Thus they encouraged their unmarried daughters to make the thread or "Pann / Pun" from the cotton balls by bare hands as well as on Charkha. Out of this Pann a little length was kept to be worn by the head lady of the family on Vinayak Choram, and rest was then sold in the market by the girl. Her first earning was considered to bring prosperity and health for her and thus was contributed in getting the material for making Roths and offerings made to the Goddess or Beib Darab Maej. 

There are many stories related to this festival, one of the story which is commonly naratted:
Once upon a time there lived a King with his the Queen and their daughter. The daughter being very skilled, beautiful and religious minded always used to offer ROTH to Beib Dharab Maej on the Auspicious day of Bhadurpath Vinayak Churam Sunday. One day, the King loaded two ships of silver gold and other wealthy items to be exchanged for the goods essentially required for his kingdom and decided to leave for journey on he same day of the Pann festival. Meanwhile the Queen ordered that preparation of roth should be made as early as possible so that King could leave for journey only afer having prashad. All preparations were made, and Queen was now ready for the Praypuin. The King entered into the palace with his fellow men and asked the Queen that he was leaving. The Queen humbly requested the king to wait for few more minutes till the Puja is over and then leave for journey after having Prashaad. The King got angry and lost his wits and entered into the Puja room with shoes and without washing hands and destroyed the purity and sanctity of the Prashad & Puja and left for journey, leaving the Queen very upset and depressed. Since the king did not return back for more than couple of months, the rumor spread in the kingdom that King along with his cargo has drowned in the sea. This hue and cry in the kingdom made the rivals concious and they attacked and captured the kingdom. The Queen and Princess were forced to leave their palace. They reached to a nearby village where the rich man of the village offered a job of husking paddy to the Queen and cleanness of the stable to the princess. Again next year this day came & the princess told her mother that she would want to celebrate this day. It is said as they celebrated this day, the King came back gathered his army again and captured his kingdom. Thus the King, Queen and the Princess lived happily again.

Kashmiri Pann / Pun Katha / Story

Roth or the "Kashmiri Pan Cakes" as they are better known as, are prepared on the occassion of Pann as the Prasad for the Pann / Pun Pooza to invoke the goddess for prosperity and luck. 

ROTH RECIPE:
Kashmiri Pun Roth RecipeServings: 6 to 8 Pieces of Roth
Ingredients:
4 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 cups of sugar soaked in 1 cup of Milk
0.5 cup of Ghee
0.5 cup of Khus-Khus (poppy seeds)
5 crushed black cardamom seeds
15 to 20 Soaked and peeled Almonds
Ghee for frying
Method:
1. Mix flour, sugar-milk syrup and ghee in a bowl.
2. Add cardamom seeds and un-evenly crushed almonds and mix.
3. Slowly add water and mix to form a a little tight spongy dough.
4. Make dough balls of eual size and roll them in thick round shaped bread.
5. Heat the ghee for frying in a deep bottomed pan.
6. Make designs on the rolled bread with fork / knife.
7. Deep fry on both sides till the bread is reddish brown.
8. Take the Roth out from the pan and keep on paper towel to strain extra Ghee.
9. Sprinkle poppy seeds and decorate with silver foil.