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Chhattisgarh

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Festivals


Chaitra Navratra, ChhattisgarhThe state of Chhattisgarh is known for its various, multi-coloured festivals and celebrations. The celebrations are generally embellished with dance and music, mysticism and holiness, utter enthusiasm and above all ancient traditional values.
The most familiar tribes found in the state are Miriam, Baiga, Kamars, Halbas, Gonds, Bhumja, Kawars etc. Out of these, few tribal families like the Gonds have exchanged cultural practices with the local Hindus, whereas on the other hand the orthodox tribes like the Baigas and the Kamars have maintained their originality till date. The rituals and festivals practiced by the tribal groups of Chhattisgarh are still being followed, respected and nurtured since the distant past to the present day. The tribes are so much attached to the nature, constituting the forests, hills, streams and their shelters that they believe their very existence is monitored by the supernatural powers co-existing along with them. They try to appease, follow and worship a wide range of Gods and apparitions, their constitutions being different from each other. Another very important aspect of their religious side is the practice of various forms of rituals and sacrifices. As they consider every step taken by them is according to the whims and fancies of Gods, even for the simplest activity they first try to mollify the supreme authority. Generally the tribal festivals and ceremonies are categorized into two groups > those observed in the home front among the family members and those which bring the entire community together in the name of celebrations. The personal or domestic affairs include occasions concerning marriage, death or birth of an infant whereas the whole village get together to celebrate events like rich harvest and mellow fruitfulness.
Few of the remarkable festivals celebrated by the tribal societies comprises Bastar Dussera, Bastar Lokotsav, Koriya Mela, Fagun Wadai, Champaran Mela, Madai Festival, Goncha Festival, Pola Festival, Hareli Festival, Narayanpur Mela, Bhoramdeo Festival, Teeja Festival and others.


  • Bastar Dussera – It is believed to have been initiated by Maharaj Purushottam Deo, the fourth Kakatiya leader, in the 15th century. The tribes observe Dussera as a congregation of Devi Maoli (supposed to be the elder sister of Devi Dhanteshwari, the goddess of the Kakatiya clan) along with all her sisters.
  • Bastar Lokotsav – This event is an extension of Bastar Dussera and takes place more or less during the same time of the year, extending for a fortnight. It gives a highlight of the preeminent features of Bastar which include its natural beauty as well as fantastic and fine art and craft works.
  • Fagun Wadai – This commences seven or eight days before Holi and ends a few days after it, the major attractions being the idols and the dances centered around different folk and tribal tales.
  • Madai Festival – It is celebrated by the tribal communities of Bastar, Kanker and Dantewada from December to March every year. The ceremony is celebrated in a large compound which begins with a procession of the local deities followed by the rituals, food and cultural extravaganza.
  • Narayanpur Mela – This is a fair manifested by celebrations and worship of deities by the tribal families, in the month of February, after Jagdalpur Dussera.
  • Bhoramdeo Festival – It is the annual festival of the brilliantly constructed Bhoramdeo Temples in the Satpura hills on the river banks of Sankari by King RamChandra of the Nag dynasty.
  • Koriya Mela – It is a traditional fair followed till date, initiated by Ramanuj Pratap Sigh Judeo, the monarch of Koriya State.
  • Goncha Festival – Goncha is actually a kind of pistol made of bamboo. This festival is celebrated during the time of Ratha Yatra in Jagdalpur, where people shoot at one another in amusement with a goncha and tukki (a fruit used as a bullet).
  • Champaran Mela – Commemorating the birth of Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya, this fair highlights the splendid cultural lineage of the area and basically witnesses a large gathering of the Vaishnavas from every nook and corner of India. It is generally held in the months of January and February in a small town located 10 kilometres from Rajim.
  • Maati Ti’aar - It is a festival devoted to the bounties of Mother Earth where the seasonal seeds preserved for sowing are fertilized through rituals and sacrificial blood. It is normally observed during Chait Navratri in March-April.
  • Hareli Festival – This festival is commonly observed by the farmers in the month of Shravan, by praying for their farm tools and cows, thus imploring for a good harvest.
  • The First Fruits Festival – As obvious from the name, it is celebrated to mark the occasions of rich harvests – frits, crops and grains.
  • Parad is another festival alike celebrated for annual hunting mission.

 

 

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