Tripura is a land of exclusive festivals and the Indian festivals celebrated in these temples are closely related to the myths of the ancient Hindu customs. The main features of festivals in Tripura is that, whether a festival descents from tribal genre or not. However, all the people, tribal or non-tribal participate in the Tripura temple festivals. The joyous mood and passionate contribution of the people make the celebrations even livelier.
Of the many Tripura temple festivals, the one that occupies the pride of place is the worship of the fourteen deities popularly known as Kharchi Puja is the most important one. During this Puja, Tripura temples are decorated at its best with many lights and coloured embellishments. Kharchi Puja is celebrated in July at Agartala. This weeklong celebration is held in the temple premises and is participated by thousands of people. This Puja is a well-known ritualistic custom of Tripura. The word Kharchi is said to be a distorted form of Khya, which means earth. Kharchi Puja is, therefore the Tripura temple festival, marking the worshipping of the earth that sustains mankind with all her resources. Sacrifice of goats and pigeons are also done at alter of gods. The Fourteen Goddess Temple in Agartala is the main place to attend for the travellers during the famous Kharchi Puja.
Garia Puja is the tribes festival in Tripura and all the local people of the state perform Garia Puja on the seventh day of Bengali Calendar Baisakh for seven days. The celebration starts from the last day of Chaitra. Two deities- Kalia and Garia - are worshipped. The devotees assemble in the Tripura temples and go for dancing after the Puja is over. The Garia dance is very popular among the Tripuris. Symbolic of the worship of the deities as well as of the socio-economic activities of the households, these dances represent hunting, fishing, food-gathering and various other activities. Sacrifice of cocks is an important feature of the Puja. Like the Garia, Gajan and Ker Ganga festivals of Tripura are also significant tribal festivities held in temples.
During Ashokashtami, some special carnivals are arranged at Unnakotis sacred premises. Ashokashtami Festivals big fair is known as Ashokashtami Fair, celebrated each year in March or April.
After Navanna; the festival of new rice, Ganga Puja is celebrated in March-April every year. This is another remarkable tribal festival. Ganga, it may be recalled, is one of the fourteen deities of the land. People gather by the streamside, strip three piece of bamboo into beautiful flowers, the villagers then build a temple with bamboos in the middle of the stream, and the ageless rituals take place amidst joy and splendour. God is propitiated by the sacrifice of goats, buffaloes and ganders to save the people from any epidemic.
Durga Puja, one of the grand Festivals in Tripura, is the most significant festival of the Bengalis. It is celebrated throughout the state at the time of Dussehra in the month of September or October. The immersion of the deity takes place on the Vijaya-Dashami. This Puja was also an occasion for a social get-together. On the night of the Vijaya-Dashami, the ruling house used to hold a great community dinner known as Hasam Bhojan. Two explanations are offered for this dinner entertainment. One is that this was an occasion to honour the soldiers of the soil. The other is that the phrase is a concept form of Asama Bhojan which means a community dinner of unequal.
Diwali Festival is one of the most vital Tripura temple festivals. This festival is observed at Tripura Sundari Temple of Udaipur and a majestic colourful fair along the cultural program is rejoiced during the festival.
Pous Sankranti Mela at Tirthamukh of Tripura happens to be one of the most significant Tripura temple festivals. The days of this festival draws the devotees from neighbouring States. Countless number of people and tribal groups come here each year on the event of Uttarayan Sankranti that occurs on 14th January. Pilgrims come here to take a holy splash in the Gomati River that is famous as "Tirtha Mukh".
Some other festivals are also important Tripura temple festivals such as Dol Jatra, Shiva Ratri and Buddha Jayanti are some regular religious festivities in the Tripura temples. Other Tripura temple festivals are the Rabindra or Nazrul Festival in May that is not necessarily temple oriented, but offerings are made to the commemorated personality. The Tripura temple festivals are renowned in the entire east India for their lovely festivities and adjoining fairs that not only include celebration, but also successful trade.
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