Tussu festival celebrations in full swing in Jharkhand

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Ranchi, Jan 15 (ANI): The weeklong celebration of Tussu harvest festival has kicked off with zeal in Jharkhand.

The festival, which started on Thursday, mark the end of the harvest festivities of Makar Sankranti.

Temple-like structures, known as 'Tussu', are carried to riverbanks by unmarried girls, accompanied by traditional songs and dances. They are then submerged into the water after offering prayers.

"As soon as people wake up, they go straight to the river to bathe themselves and give offerings of coconuts and sweets to the river. Then they go home and cook food just for this special occasion," said Amit Singh Pinnda, a village head.

Tussu is similar to harvest festivals, which take place in other parts of the country and is celebrated by preparing food from newly harvested crops.

"Like they have Pongal in the south and Makar Sankranti in the north, here in Jharkhand, we celebrate Tussu. Today we cook using the newly-harvested rice and we wear new clothes because today is the start of our new year," said Jairam Mahli, a villager.

This year, Tussu also coincided with the end of the Hindu month of Kharwash, during which celebrating auspicious occasions, such as weddings, is prohibited.

Tussu is stated to be symbolic emblem of goddess Tussu Devi, made of cardboard and decorated with colorful paper and female dolls, some reaching a height of even ten feet. This is prepared by group of chaste unmarried teenage girls a week before the actual festival and kept at the village for everyone to admire. (ANI)

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