Festivals of Chhattisgarh



Festivals of Chhattisgarh tells the multi-hued tale of cultural ecstasy of the state. The ancient times of Chhattisgarh have scripted the history of many tribal and non-tribal festivals. From Dussera and Lokotsav in Bastar to fairs of Hareli, Goncha, Champaran and Korea, the state of Chhattisgarh is brimming with a pulsating palate of festivals.

Bastar dussera is an age-old festival of the local people which has today gained much popularity in the other districts Chhattisgarh too. As the name indicates, dussera is celebrated in the place to worship Lord Rama. The festival mainly celebrate the triumph of good power over the evil ones.

Bastar lokotsav is the biggest celebration of the tribal folks of the area. Inheriting a vivacious culture from their ancestors, the tribes of Bastar engross themselves in the joyful mirth and glee of the lokotsav. Folk dances, songs and other sources of performing arts take place in Bastar during the lokotsav festival. People from faraway regions come to visit this festival of Chhattisgarh every year.

Fairs which are colloquially called as Melas also form an integral part of Chhattisgarh festivals. The various districts of the state are populated by various kinds of communities all of which organizes their sphere of fairs. The tribal people of Chhattisgarh are way ahead with respect to the gamut of melas. Be it the bhoramdeo festival, madai festival, goncha festival or earth mela, teeja fair, champaran mela, korea festival, fagun wadai, first fruit meal or the pola festival, tribes of the state are never short of the infinite array of cultural celebrations.

Festivals of Chhattisgarh truly captivates one and all with a varied charm and trait.

Bastar Dussera

Bastar Dussera is the unique cultural trait of Chhattisgarh. Celebrated by the local people of the state with sufficient vigor, the festival of Dussera connotes to the supreme power of goddess Danteswari. During Dussera, the inhabitants of Bastar organizes special worship ceremonies at the Danteswari temple of Jagadalpur.

It is believed that Maharaja Purushaottam Deo first initiated the festival of Dussera in the early hours of 15th century. From since then it became customary for all th tribes of Bastar to take part in this holy festival. During the entire ten days of the occasion, the respected Raj family of Bastar arrange worship sessions in which the ancient arms of the Goddess Danteswari are treated as divine elements. One of the inherent traits of Bastar Dussera is that the control of the state is formally transfered to the Diwan keeping the Zamindar and similar important personalities as witnesses. Kunwar amavasya is the first day of dussera. On the night of the first day the customary transfer of control takes place. A mystique characteristics of this ceremony is that before handing over the power to the Diwan, a girl who is believed to have possessed the spiritual powers is asked for permission. This girl is seen with a wooden sword and stands in a war-like posture. The second day of dussera is called pratipada which is followed by aarti and salami. On the ninth day, the Raja of Bastar welcomes goddess Danteswari who comes to the entrance of the city in a doli or palanquin. The tenth day of the festival is called dussera when the Raja organizes a darbar where people come and present their requests. Also aarti ceremony is held on the last day of dussera. The dussera festival is a famous event of India. But the dussera of Bastar is completely different from the commonly known festival of the country. Bastar dussera celebrate the divine bliss of Goddess Danteswari who is the revered deity of all the existing tribes of Chhattisgarh.

Bastar Lokotsav

Bastar Lokotsav is a vibrant festival of Chhattisgarh which involves the representation of the folk culture of the state. The lokotsav which occurs after the end of rainy season, attracts large number of tribal groups who come to participate in this festival from remote villages of Chhattisgarh. Handicraft items are exhibited in the Bastar Lokotsav. Connoting the festival of the folk people of Chhattisgarh, lokotsav of Bastar starts with a enticing array of cultural events. The jagadalpur area of Chhattisgarh organizes a special programme called Basta Parab in which dance and song variations of the tribal communities can be seen.
The Bastar Lokotsav is a kind of platform on which the tribal traditions and culture get a recognition. During the loktsav, people from all other adjoining districts of the state come to enjoy the charismatic charm of the occasion. Also, tribes of other states of India are found participating enthusiastically in the Bastar Lokotsav. The exquisite handicrafts which are quite rare are also sold by the tribal groups of Bastar during the festival. Sometimes, tourists from other countries are also found in the Bastar Lokotsav. This indicates the immense popularity of the lokotsav that has crossed the regional boundaries. As a colorful and historical cultural identity, Bastar Lokotsav also enhances the tourism prospects of Chhattisgarh. In the promotional campaigns and in the sightseeing portals of the state, mention of Bastar Lokotsav is found more often than not. The government of Chhattisgarh always encourages such tribal festivals in the state. Bastar Lokotsav adds a vibrnat diemnsion to the festivals of the state.

Madai Festival

The Charama and Kurna communities of Kanker district, tribes of Bastar and people of Bhanupratappur, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Antagrah celebrate the Madai Festival in the state of Chhattisgarh. From the month of December to March, the festival of Madai tours from one place of the state to another. The local tribes of the state along with other communities worship the presiding deity during the festival. In the beginning of Madai Festival, the tribal people of Chhattisgarh launch a procession on an open field where large number of devotees and general tourists gather to witness the rituals. After the end of the procession, the priest or similar figure starts worshiping the goddess. While the puja ceremony goes on, the onlookers maintain silence and also offer prayers to the feet of the deity. When the worshiping finishes, several cultural events like folk dance, drama, songs etc starts taking place in the open space. As a huge number of villagers come to enjoy the ecstasies the occasion, so Madai Festival is always organized on a vast stretch of land. The Bastar region of Chhattisgarh marks the beginning of Madai Festival. From Bastar the festival goes to the Kanker district of the state from where it is again shifted to Narayanpur, antagarh and Bhanupratappur. Keshkal, bhopalpattnam and Kondagaon welcome Madai Festival in the month of March when it comes to its final end. Since the Madai Festival goes from one location to another, each and every tribe and other human groups of Chhattisgarh enjoy the unique pleasures of the occasion. Derived from the old customs and traditions of the state, Madai Festival today has become a popular religious event of Chhattisgarh in particular and India in general.

Bhoramdeo Festival

Maharaj Ramachandra who was one of the members of Nag Kingdom of Chhattisgarh established the famous temple of Raipur where the Bhoramdeo Festival is celebrated toady. Situated at a distance of around 135 km from the city of Raipur, the temple becomes a live manifestation of vigor and celebration in the last week of March when Bhoramdeo festival takes place. Compared to the historically famous Khajuraho temples, the edifice of Bhoramdeo temple reflects the architectural mastery of the ancient rulers of Chhattisgarh. As one of the prime symbol of religious shrines of the state, the temple becomes a vibrant platform of cultural extravaganza. The local people of the state come in large numbers to the premises of the temple to witness the aide array of festive events. From dance dramas to folk songs, every type of recreational activity is arranged withing the compounds of the Bhoaramdeo temple. Not only the inhabitants of Chhattisgarh, but also people from other states of India visit the temple complex during the Bhoramdeo Festival. Those who are not familiar with the religious ceremonies of Chhattisgarh can get some vital clues of the same through the Bhoramdeo Festival. Wearing bright clothes and accessories, when the people of Chhattisgarh gather in the temple of Bhoramdeo, it seems like a multi-hued stream has been unleashed in the place. Like any other cultural occasion of the state, Bhoramdeo Festival also reflects the inherent qualities of the socio-cultural dynamics of Chhattisgarh which in turn helps in providing a significant insight into the festive spirit of the place.

Goncha Festival

Jagadalpur of Bastar district in Chhattisgarh is the place where the Goncha Festival is celebrated. Connoting a special fruit of Chhattisgarh, Goncha is used as mock bullet by the tribes of the state who celebrate the festival in July. Since Goncha Festival occurs at the same time when Rath Yatra of Hindus is celebrated, so it is also referred as the Chariot festival.

Goncha Festival is primarily a cultural trait of the tribal communities of the state of Chhattisgarh. However, as the festival starts gaining momentum, people from all corners of the state flock to Bastar district. Enjoying the essence of the festival through various cultural activities, the local people completely engross themselves in the very aura of Goncha Festival.One of the interesting part of the festival of Goncha is that the tribal people make fake pistols with bamboo and use the goncha fruit as artificial bullets. As a compulsory custom, the men target each other and shoot the bullets with the help of the bamboo pistols. The onlookers take the pleasure of the sight as it is a fun game of the tribal communities.

Teeja Festival

The Indian subcontinent is noted for a myriad reasons. One of them being the cultural diversity underlying which there exists an unbreakable spirit of unity. Each state in India celebrates a number of festivals unique to its own culture and tradition. Likewise Chhattisgarh celebrates Teeja festival with elaborate grandeur.Teeja is essentially a Rajashthani festival. The popularity of this festival is evinced by the grand nationwide celebrations. Even the quiet tribal paradise of Chhattisgarh is not spared. Teeja celebrations commence in the months of July and August to welcome the first monsoon downpours of the year.Teeja festival is primarily confined to the female world from which the menfolk are strictly excluded. Colorful and gay procession of the women dressed in vibrant garments and elaborately adorned fill the streets and a general atmosphere of vivacity and enjoyment prevails. The women gossip amongst themselves and frolic around the quintessential Indian bazaars dressed in all their finery.

Champaran Mela

Festivals are an integral part of the culture and heritage of Chhattisgarh. The state has gained recognition as an independent state of India in November 2000. Formerly it was a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The population of Chhattisgarh is mainly occupied by the tribal people. They celebrate the different festivals and fairs with great pomp and show. Champaran Mela is a fair that is celebrated every year in Chhattisgarh. The festivals of Chhattisgarh are reflective of the ethnic and rustic culture of the local people of Chhatttisgarh, mainly of the tribal communities. The tribals of Chhattisgarh are simple and fun loving people. They celebrate their indigenous rituals in order to pacify their local gods and goddesses.

Champaran Mela is part of the festivals celebrated in the Raipur. Raipur is the state capital of Chhattisgarh and it is located almost in the center of the state. The city was established in the 14th century. Raipur is an industrially developed city but the traditional culture and heritage have not died out. The Champaran Mela is actually a fair that is organized at a place called Champaran. This annual fair has obtained its name from the place where it is celebrated. Champaran is situated at a distance of 56 km from the state capital of Chhattisgarh. The fair at Champaran is held on the month of Magh, that is from the January to February. This cultural fair of Champaran is very popular. It is attended by a number of people from all over the state. Mainly the followers of Vaishnav religion visit the Champaran Mela.

Narayanpur Mela

Chhattisgarh is located in the eastern part of India. It came to be recognized as a separate state of India very recently. The state is mainly inhabited by the tribal people. The people of Chhattisgarh celebrate their festivals with great pomp and show. The festivals of Chhatisgarh reflect the traditional culture of India. The festivals of Chhattisgarh also give out the local flavor of the region.Narayanpur Mela is celebrated in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. This occasion has no longer remained a mere fair but it has transformed into a festival of the state of Chhattisgarh. The tribal communities of Chhattisgarh celebrate this festival. It is an occasion for the tribal people to celebrate happiness and make merriment.

Narayanpur Mela in Bastar is a festival that is reflective of the customs and rituals of the tribals of Chhattisgarh. They perform various ceremonial worships in this festival. The tribal people follow several deities and during the Narayanpur Mela, they pay a homage to the goddesses with lots of devotion. Besides being a cultural and religious festival, merriment is an intrinsic part of it. Thus the people take pleasure in carrying on the drinking sessions as a part of the celebration of the festival in Bastar. During the celebration of Narayanpur Mela in Bastar, the local people also take part in the dancing ceremonies. These dance performances are accompanied by the drums. It is a magnificent site to watch the tribal men and women taking part in the dance and tapping their feet to the rhythmic music. In Bastar, Narayanpur Mela is celebrated every year during the last week of February.

Pola

Chhattisgarh is a state famed for its cultural extravaganzas. The nascent was carved out from Madhya Pradesh only in the new millennium. Hence the state is infused with traces of Madhya Pradesh's culture. The exuberant tribals love to celebrate life and this remains incomplete without the celebrations of the Pola festival. India is a country where unity abounds in diversity and Chhattisgarh is no exception to this age-old rule. Amongst the various strange rituals that prevail in the country, animal worship is a common phenomenon. Chhattisgarh, with its predominant tribal culture hold animals with great reverence and celebrate eclat festivals as a mark of tribute. Pola is one such festival that is largely celebrated in the bucolic zones of Chhattisgarh with great pomp and grandeur. The objective behind the festive celebrations is to pay respect to the bullocks, without whom the country's economy and agriculture would be in deplorable shambles. Pola Festival, also known as Pithori Amavasya is celebrated during Sharavana or monsoon and lays great emphasis on treating the bestial creatures with due respect. The festival is celebrated on a lovely new moon night when the star studded whitewashed sky closely resembles a ripe and flourishing paddy field. At the culmination of this ceremony, ploughing and sowing of seeds begin. Pola or Bail Pola is a festival that is grandly celebrated in rural India, which has a predominantly agrarian economy. The festivites commence with the farmers adorning their bulls with decorating garments, embellishing their bodies with turmeric powder and garlanding the beast and finally offering them holy food. The evenings witness musical parades promenades where the farmers march with their cattle in tow. They also regale in outdoor games and gorge on the local delicacy of Puran Poli.

Hareli

An integral part of the culture of Chhattisgarh, Hareli represents the rich folk traditions of the region. One of the prominent performing arts of the Durg district of Chhattisgarh, Hareli has captured the imagination of the world with its beautiful dance styles accompanied with expressive enactment of mythological or legendary characters. Hareli is one of the common folk dance dramas of the Durg district. Based on mythological legends, religious events, historical facts and folklores, the beautiful dance drama of Hareli represents the rich ancestry of the region. Dressed in colorful attires appropriate to their characters, the performers enact the roles with complete dedication, and enthusiasm which is reflected in the flawless presentation of the folk dance drama of Hareli. The dance drama of Hareli is a harmonious blend of rich traditional folk culture and modern infrastructural amenities that adds to its charm. Accompanied with traditional folk instruments, the performers of Hareli enact their characters with perfection. The folk dance drama of Hareli is supported by modern infrastructural systems of light and sounds effects that impart a touch of reality to the live show on stage. The beautiful folk dance drama of Hareli provides the performers with a wonderful opportunity to display the rich cultural heritage of the Durg district to the outside world through their expressive body language and unique dance styles. Representing the vibrant and dynamic cultural life of the region, the traditional folk dance drama of Hareli portrays the rich artistic caliber and creative imagination of the performers. Endowed with rich historical ancestry, the Durg district is blessed with a plethora of indigenous performing arts. One such performing art of Hareli has added to the old glory and grandeur of the district.

First fruit Festival

Chhattisgarh, the epicenter of India's tribal culture is fast emerging as a burgeoning center of trade and commerce, The state's strategic location and abundant natural resources have resulted in its prosperous fate. The state is also noted for its cultural potpourri that evinced through the celebrations of festivals like the First Fruits Festival.
The native tribal inhabitants of Chhattisgarh are a deeply religious and superstitious lot of people. They have faith not only cult gods and goddesses, but also hold Mother Earth, the source of their livelihood and subsistence in high esteem. The people of Chhattisgarh, however believe in spicing up their festive celebrations with music, dance, drama, food , drink , mirth and merriment. Essentially a jovial set of people, one of their primary festivals commences in the colorful spring when the trees flower in the flourishing and colorful seasonal blooms and the branches prosper with the ripe fruits, waiting to be plucked and eaten. The tribals celebrate the occasion of plucking the first fruits from the branches of trees and digging into their soft and succulent flesh with pomp and grandeur. The natives of Chhattisgarh eagerly await the cheerful months of March and April, when spring arrives with its bundle full of gifts of freshness, vivacity, nature's plenitude and new hopes and promises. The trees, plants, shrubs and bushes are all thriving with the first fruit of the season and culling them from the trees is indeed a ceremonious occasion enjoyed by the people, irrespective of age, religion, caste or creed. It is a delight to visit Chhattisgarh's First Fruits Festival and witness the tribals rejoice in the simple pleasures of life.

Earth Festival

Chhattisgarh is a state that is famed for a multitude of reasons. The state is not only a burgeoning center of industrial enterprise with abundant mineral resources, it also abounds in cultural extravaganzas. The cultural potpourri of Chhattisgart is manifested in its numerous fairs of which the Earth Festival deserves special mention. The people of Chhattisgarh depend on a primarily agrarian economy. The local inhabitants are a deeply religious and superstitious lot who firmly believe in worshiping Mother Earth. Without the generous benediction of Mother Earth, the lands would not turn a fertile brown and yield heaps of ripe, golden crop. In fact, they fear that on angering the fertile land, the source of their income droughts and famine would strike the state and tawny patches and cracks and fissures would emerge on the fertile plains that would resemble the hide of a leopard. Thus the tribal inhabitants of Chhattisgarh celebrate the Earth Festival with pomp and grandeur. Also known as the Surhul Festival or the Mati Puja, the festive celebrations commence in the beautiful and cheerful months of spring. During the months of March and April, nature is resplendent in its fresh bounty and the vibrant colors and new hopes and promises lift the spirits of the peasants and the yeomen. Surhul or Earth festival celebrations are completely segregated from harvest of crops. A religious festival in spirit, the festival is primarily concerned with worshiping the venerable Mother Earth and seeking her benison. The people eagerly and patiently await the auspicious day when the Sal trees are covered in flourishing blossoms. To pay a tribute to the Goddess, the villages stay away from their fields and fervently pray in the forests of the villages and hamlets. No farming related activities are conducted that day.

Last Updated on: 6/6/2013

     


     

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