With the crops ready to be sown now and the sky turning black, many eyes raise up to Lord for a good harvest.
“Hareli” embarks the monsoon fiesta. The land of Chhattisgarh is acclaimed for its spectacular appreciation of cultural abundance. This cultural abundance is observed in the form of celebrations ranging from dance, music, devotion, fasting rituals and ancient traditional values.
Chhattisgarh plays a vital role in the National economy , a substantial portion of agricultural produce to our economy is contributed by this state. It is a home to a number of farmers and hence you will see a number of vivid rituals which are celebrated by them.
“Pola” is one such festival which shows colours of the state in the most vibrant way. Pola is marked by age-old ritual of animal worship and the farmers who are the bread-winners for our Country.
It enfolds the culture of paying homage to the bullocks without whom the agriculture would not foster. The buoyant tribals hence celebrate life with all pomp and joy. This festival is also known as “pithori amavasya” .
Fairs also called as Melas also form an integral part of Chhattisgarh festivals. The various districts of the state are populated by various kinds of communities all of which organizes their sphere of fairs. The tribal people of Chhattisgarh are never short of the infinite array of cultural celebrations.
The markets begin to show enthusiasm. Children seem to be all round to choose the best bullock for them, they play with idols of Nandi Bull (the vehicle of Lord Shiva) made of clay and has clay wheels.
It is believed that on this new moon night, the stars decorate the sky closely resembling a ripe and flourishing paddy field. The rituals commence with the farmers adorning their bulls with decorating garments, embellishing their bodies with turmeric powder and painting them with colours garlanding them and finally offering them holy food. After decorating the bulls, the bulls are to be publicly acknowledged hence the elder most bull begins the bull parade, enfolding the virtue of respecting elders and also the elder most farmer in the village. This bull race continues till the evenings followed by people enjoying local delicacy in the village together.
One of the lesser known stories in Chhattisgarh, associated with this festival is that of the demon “Polasur”. This treacherous demon crafted itself in the form of a bull and wanted to kill Lord Krishna in disguise of his childhood. However this demon was killed by Lord Krishna. The clay made bullocks are resemblance of demon and children play with clay bullocks rejoicing Lord Krishna’s victory.
Pola teaches every human being to respect animals. It is a festival of continuing traditions, it brings people together on the same page to witness, rejoice and celebrate a common event. People from various places in the world gather here to witness the famous bull race. Festivals of Chhattisgarh truly captivate one and all with a varied charm and trait.
Happy Pola festival to all our hardworking farmers!
We sincerely hope festivals like these increase awareness about the issues the farmers face and we start supporting them via various initiatives.
[Contributed by: Surabhi Aswale]