Makara Sankranti is an important festival in all parts of Bengal.
The Tusu Parab is held in Birbhum on this occasion. Groups of young girls
gather every evening throughout the month of Pousa (December-January)
and sing songs which have been termed by the generic term Tusu. On the
day of Makara Sankranti the groups go out of the village to a nearby tank
or river with the goddess Tusu symbolized in small clay figurines or sometimes
merely as cow-dung balls. After a sacred bath they return to worship and
make offerings of rice to the deity. Different groups meet, sing songs
near the river-bank or the pond and compete with each other. The songs
are accompanied by simple group movements: there is no other accompaniment.
The men also have their particular songs and dances for the occasion and
these are known as the Bhaduriya Saila. The dance content is more predominant
here: men dance in circles clock-wise and anti-clockwise.