Tribals in MP celebrate three-month-long Diwali

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Barwani, MP, Oct 27 (UNI) Tribals in western Madhya Pradesh's Jhabau district celebrate Diwali, festival of light, continuously for three months in their unique style.

There is a tradition in Barela tribe to not celebrate Diwali in case of death in the village. Under such circumstances, they celebrate the festival in later months.

''This is not necessary that all the villagers celebrate the festival on the same day,'' Dr Nikunj, who has written several books on tribal life, told UNI here today, adding that the tribals celebrate the festival as per their convenience.

Each tribal family celebrates Diwali for three days. On the first day, the house is cleaned and painted with cow-dung, especially the Otala 'porch' of the house. Deepaks or 'Kawade' -- earthen lamps -- are also made from cow dung.

On the second day, cooked rice and pulses is offered to guests, 'dhols (barrel drums)' played in night and crackers burst followed by dance and drinking party.

Tribals stop playing 'dhol' after Holi and the practice is resumed during Diwali. A bottle of liquor is offered and a cock sacrificed to the music instrument before playing it.

Cattle are worshipped on the third day. Tribals wash their horns and paint them with geru (red soil) and milk. 'Bajra (millet)' with silver jewellery on it is offered to in order to appease the 'Goddess of wealth' Lakshami.

Male tribals touch feet of bullocks after cladding in their turban and chant 'Khand Khand Kurrav'. The bullocks are made to run in the village and no work taken from them.

''The festival concludes for Barela tribals betweeb one-three months after the Diwali concludes according to the Hindu calendar,'' Government Post Graduate College Assistant Professor Sumer Singh Solanki said.

Village chiefs from 10-15 villages hold a meeting and decide the day for the festival.

''Other tribes such as Bheel, Tadavi and Bhilala also celebrate Diwali but not with as much significance as Barelas do,'' he added.

Diwali -- falls on the Amavasya -- the 15th day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin -- is also called as Deepavali, that means a line of lamps. Being the festival of lights, Deepavali in India is a holy tradition and it symbolises the victory of light over darkness, darkness refers to ignorance and light refers to knowledge.

It is a major Hindu festival honoring Maa Lakshmi -- goddess of wealth. Celebrated joyously all over India, it is a festival of wealth and prosperity.

The magnificent five-day-long jubilation of Diwali celebrations is marked by multi-colored Rangoli designs, special pooja ceremonies, lines of lamps, floral decorations fireworks, exchange of sweets and gifts that lends grandeur to the occasion.

UNI XC-KV 1444

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