Performance of Ba-Bidn-Bidn Festival
The Ba-Bidn-Bidn Festival is first initiated by the Kalo who sows the paddy in the Pahanai land i.e. a field free of rent and owned by the Kalo. A portion of the yield is used for communal purpose such as for preparation of rice beer or for utilizing it during sacred performances. The celebration of the festival is primarily associated with agriculture but it also closely relates to forest life of the Kharias. During the celebration of Ba-Bidn-Bidn festival or prior to it, utilization of Keund (Drospyros melanoxylon) leaves for the purpose of cup making is completely restricted.
A particular day is fixed by the community members for the celebration of the festival. On the appointed day, the Kalo observes fast. He takes bath in the wee hours of the day and collects five fowls of varying colours such as red, white, black, spotted and gray. These fowls are then sacrificed in the name of the Khunt and Pat in his house. The process of propitiation bears resemblance to the several other rituals performed by the Kharia Tribe. The Kalo accumulates a small amount of paddy in a new basket and departs for the Pahanai field which is kept ploughed prior to the celebrations. The Kalo sows a handful of paddy in the field and returns back. The Kalo observes complete silence from the time he leaves for the field and return's back. Upon returning back, he offers Golang to the ancestral spirits at the entrance door of the kitchen uttering the following mantra:
"O! So-and-so (names), old men (Ancestors) and old women (Ancestresses)! In your names, I am sowing paddy. I ungrudgingly offer sacrifices to you. May not my children suffer from stomachache and headache (i.e. any disease or aliment)."
The concluding part of the festival is marked by eating, drinking and merry making by all the community members. Fish is considered as a ceremonial dish on this special occasion for its association with fertility and agricultural production. Thence, the same sacred performance is repeated on the family level.
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