Thursday, July 2, 2020
Madhya Pradesh

Fairs and Festivals



Laru Kaj

Laru Kaj is the festival of Gonds which is associated with the pig sacrifice.

The ceremony is considered the pig's wedding in honour of Narayan Dev. This sacrifice is supposed to be done by every family once in nine or twelve years for prosperity, health and happiness. All the relatives come and stay at the host's house for several days. Invitation is sent to many persons in the village to join the ceremony.

'Laru' means bridegroom and 'Kaj' refers to a 'Solemn occasion'. It also means ceremony or marriage. Nowadays, this sacrificial ritual is gradually disappearing.

Koqsar

Koqsar is one of the important festivals of the Abujhmarias. It comes as the concluding festival when people care little for privacy. Koqsar is characterised by ceremonial exchange of visits of boys and girls. In most of the Abujhmar country, this festival is associated with the end of long separation. Koqsar marks the lifting of the taboo. In Koqsar the men dance in semi-circle and the girls dance in a separate group. The dance proceeds through the whole night.

In the Bhagoriah of the Bhils, marriages are settled in Koqsar and it is after the festival that couples meet again and many boys are able to secure partners for the life ahead.

Ras-Nawa

Ras-Nawa is a special festival of the Baigas of Mandla district. Ras-Nawa means ceremonial eating of honey. The festival falls once in every nine years. The Baigas associate this festival to their legendary ancestor Nanga Baiga.

The shrubs called Mohati and Anhera are the favourites of the bees as they get ample honey out of their flowers. Once a drop of honey fell to the ground, Nanga Baiga dipped his finger and tasted the substance. No sooner he did this, all the bees transformed into tigers. Nanga Baiga ran for his life and when he reached his abode he found it filled with bees. He was unable to move either inside the house or outside. He promised to make offering every nine years.

It is believed that preceding this festival many deaths occur and therefore among the Baigas a taboo is observed not to eat honey before the festival. On the festival day the Baigas go to the forest to get honey. On their return to the village a festal booth is built for the Mohati and Anhera shrubs. They are now taken as wife and husband. Near the festal booth millet is prepared by 'Shaman', the witch doctor, in gourds and when it is ready honey is poured into the vessels. It is distributed to all those who attend the ceremony. During the merriment boys take their chances to smear the faces of the girls with honey.

«  PREVIOUS