West Singhbhum (WB), May 15 (ANI): The Ho and Santhal tribes in Jharkhand have recently organized an annual congregation in West Singhbhum District to offer prayers for the well being of the tribe.
The tribals gathered together near the sacred Sal trees and the priest offered holy prayers to ward off the evil spirits.
The priest also performs various rituals in honour of the deity and their ancestors and then distributes Sal and Mahua flowers to both men and women.
"This festival is organized annually by the Sarna community. The main reason for this congregation is that the tribal people round the year meet many different people and some of them get influenced by the evil elements of the society. To get rid of those bad influences the tribals meet at one place to offer prayers to the forest god and then they eat and make merry," said Krishan Behra, a member of the Ho tribe.
The tribals from both the communities are strong believers in the presence of supernatural beings.
During the annual meet, the groups discuss their problems and pray for the long life of their depleting tribe.
"Here a village prayer is taking place to remove all evils. We are praying for a healthy and secure life of our tribe people. In our language we call it 'Van bhoj' (Forest meal)," said Budhram Hembhren, a tribal.
Special drinks and nine different food items are made and served to the god, which is later distributed in the gathering.
The Santhals are one of the largest tribal communities of India, inhabiting the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and Bihar.
The 'Ho' tribes are concentrated in West Bengal and also occupy a major part of Jharkhand. (ANI)