Kottayam: Christian families in Kerala are all set to observe 'Pethratha' on 11 February before the Lenten season begins. Derived from the Syriac word ‘Peturta’ which means ‘looking back’ or ‘to return’, it is the day to look back at your life ahead of observing fifty days of lent.
Food plays a significant role on Pethratha as it is the day to finish off the leftovers before entering the season of austerity and holiness. The food items that aren’t usually cooked at homes during the Lenten season should be finished off to avoid any leftovers. As per the tradition, the earthen vessels in which these food items are cooked should be smashed on the day of Pethratha.
Special prayers are offered at the church during Lent. The season of penance ends on Easter or the day of resurrection. Meanwhile, the Lenten season begins on Wednesday in the Latin dioceses.