(Last Updated on : 15/03/2013)
Tribal Festivals of Orissa mostly are occasions that mark the change of season or they some are religious events that celebrate a local deity. Some of the popular celebrations include Bali Jatra, Sume Gelirak, Kedu Festival and some more.
This festival is observed by the tribal people of Koraput. It begins from the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Bhadrab and it continues upto the full-moon. It begins with Nuakhai (first eating) feast on which generally new rice is eaten. During the festival various grains are planted in the wet sand that is brought from a nearby stream. Thereafter it is placed on a structure called Balijatra.
Sume-Gelirak is a festival that is celebrated by the Bondas of Koraput. The Godlings and demons are worshipped during the first few days. The rituals are performed by the Sisa or the tribal priest.
Bija Pandu is also known as Chaitra parva. It is celebrated by the Koya tribe who are concentrated in the Malkangiri sub-division of Koraput district. `Gudimata`, the Mother Earth is worshipped. Bijapandu is basically the sacred seed from which the festival takes it name. The men go out hunting and fishing in groups during this festival.
This festival is one of the most important festivals that is celebrated by the Kondhs. It is also known as human sacrifice `Meria` which was stopped during the British rule in India. It continues for five days and on each day different rituals are performed. Mother Earth is propitiated during this festival.
Chaitra Purva is a festival of the tribal people of Koraput. The Bhuiyans of Mayurbhanj, Sudargarh and Keonjhar also observe this festival.
Maghe Parab is the most important festival of the Ho, Oraon, Kisan and Kol tribes. It is a harvest festival. It is observed in honor of the village deity. It has a ritual that comprises of a sacrifice of a black fowl before the deity and thereby offers Mahua liquor.
The Karma or Karam festival is celebrated by the tribal people of Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar. This festival is also observed by Ho, Kisan, Kol, Bhumij, Oraon, Bhuiyan and Binjhals tribes of Orissa.
God Karamsani is worshipped during this festival. The Goddess is represented with a branch of Karam tree. This festival takes place in the month of Bhadrab during the rainy season.