Tribal calendar dotted with umpteen celebrations

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Baripada, Dec 16 (UNI) The tribal calendar is dotted with umpteen rituals performed to invoke blessings from the beyond and to ensure peace, prosperity and perennial happiness of the tribes.

'Karam' or the festival of cultivation is one such ritual which has an universal appeal among the tribals, Kudumali Cultural Association of Mayurbhanj General Secretary Chittaranjan Mohanta said.

While 'Sarhul' is a festival that begins with hunting and ends with the hope of a good agricultural produce, 'Karam' is related to cultivation and involves sowing, sprouting and tending crops, Mohanta added.

'Sarhul' is observed mainly by the Adivasis but 'Karam' is meant for all - the Adivasis, Sadans and the Moolvasis, he added.

''Karam Parab has an universal appeal. Besides the Kudumi, other tribes who celebrate the 'karam' with great pomp are the Bhumija, Kamar, Kumbhar, Tanti, Kolha, Ho, Munda, Khadia, Lodha and Puranas,''Mr Mohanta said.

People observe it following the period of hard work of paddy transplantation and ripening of some crops like early paddy and millets.

Karam also provides an occasion to convey the principles of ''Karma'' as propounded in the Bhagavat Gita.

The festival includes three important events - ceremonially putting different kinds of grains in baskets for germination, fasting on the eleventh day and offering prayers in the evening and singing and dancing.

With their traditional attires, the tribals sing 'Karam' songs and dance on the beat of 'drums', 'dhumsa', 'madal' and other musical instruments.

The festival is also celebrated in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and extends upto Mithila, Magadh, and Chhattisgarh.

UNI

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