Hareli festival is celebrated on the Sravana Amavasya or the new moon day of month. It marks the opening of the sacred month for Hindus, Shravan month. Hareli festival is a festival of crop focusing on the monsoon of a year. The Goddess Kutki Dai is the reigning deity worshipped in this festival for getting good crops.
Celebration of Hareli Festival
The celebration of the Hareli festival corresponds with the months of July and August in the Gregorian calendar. The Hareli festival in Chhattisgarh is celebrated on the new moon day of the month or the Sravana Amavasya.
Hareli festival is of special importance among the Gond tribes. During this time the farmers of Chhattisgarh worship their equipments used for farming and cows. The farmers pray for a good harvest and the basic theme of this festival is manly nature centric. The manifestations in rituals are simple, though the prayers are ardent.
During the Hareli festival the people of Chhattisgarh place branches of Bhelwa tree on their respective fields. They also hand branches of Neem tree on the entrance of their houses. Neem has medicinal properties that prevent diseases as well as insects. The Baiga Tribe or the traditional medical practitioners of Chhattisgarh teach and appraise their students. The Hareli festival of Chhattisgarh is also marked by playing 'Gedi'. It is a play where small children mount on bamboo sticks and walk round the fields. At some places they also take part in a "gedi" race.
Most of the conservative food is made up of rice. Preparations from different types of green vegetable such as Kanda bhaji, Kochai patta, Chowlai bhaji, Lal bhaji, Bohar bhaji and Kohda are eaten by the people. Muthiya that are rice rolls in white sauce, angarkar roti, Chousera roti are some of the preparations that are made with rice flour.
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