Orrisa tribals celebrate 'Osaha Baliyatra' for better crop

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Bhubaneswar, Sep. 21 (ANI): Kondh tribals in Orissa's Koraput district are celebrating their annual nine-day long festival 'Osaha Baliyatra' for a good yield of crops in the upcoming season.

The tribals are nature worshippers and believe that 'Dharani', the earth goddess is omnipotent and highest of all deities.

During the festival the tribals pray for a good harvest, and perform various rituals.

The festival begins on the second day of the Bhadra month, the sixth month as per traditional North Indian Hindu calendar, and culminates on the ninth day.

As part of the celebrations, tribals from various villages in the region congregate near a river, and take sand on a bamboo platter.

The sand is kept with earth from the local Goddess' temple and rice, wheat and maize are sown on it.

The tribals worship the seeds sown in the sand everyday and wait for them to sprout, if they sprout well, it is believed that the crop would be good too.

"I am 77 year old and I have been celebrating this festival, and during the 'Osha Baliyatra', we fetch sand from the river and worship it. Various offerings are made to it. We sow seeds on the sand bed. If it sprouts well, it is believed that this year the harvest would be good," said a local, Duriya.

The Kondhs are the largest tribal group amongst the 60 tribes in Orissa state.

Divided into two logistic groups, Kui and Kuvi, a large section of the tribe is found in the districts of Kondhamal and Koraput. (ANI)

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