Ramnavami is originally a Hindu festival but the Kharias have inculcated it in own culture and have been celebrating it for nearly last four decades. The festival is marked by celebrations of several fascinating rituals and sacred performances. The village members contribute money according to their capacity. Important items such as kapur (camphor), two kaseli (betel nuts) two pan (betel leaf), milk, incense sticks, ghee (clarified butter), and vermillion are required for the puja. For its celebration food items such as Halua, Sirni, coconut and banana are required and served to the presiding deity.
On the festive day the Pahan (village priest), observing fast, brings with him a pot full of water, leafy branches of mango tree, paddy shoots, chaumukh dia (for mouthed earthen lamp) and cotton for the wick. The puja commences with the Pahan marking the kalsa (a ritual pitcher filled with water) and an image of Lord Hanuman with five vermillion marks. Fire oblations are also offered to the god with incense sticks. Before offering the ritual bhog to the lord a portion of it is kept aside on a banana leaf placed before the image of the Lord. Subsequently, the Mahabiri Jhanda, triangular in shape with a height of almost two feet, is fixed tightly on the top of a big bamboo and erected perpendicular to the ground fixed in a hole. The flag is almost two feet in height while its other two sides are nearly five feet in length.
The Mahabiri Jhanda, before being taken door to door in a procession, is worshipped by some married Kharia women who wash its lower portion puts five vermilion marks on it. Thence, they perform Gorlagi, a ritual salutation to the Jhanda. After travelling around the village the flag is brought back to its original place and fixed tightly in the hole.
A second flag, also triangular in shape yet bigger in size, almost ten feet in height with the other two sides measuring twenty feet in length, is scaled up on a bamboo. The community members marching for a procession carry weapons like lathi, balua, sword, bow and arrow. Specific musical instruments such as Dholak, Nagara and other gadgets are also brought into play during the procession, participated by men, women and children alike.
Gradually the procession approaches near an appointed destination, usually a school ground or any other public place, locally known as 'centre for Jhanda milan' (meeting of the Jhanda). In Baghima area, the Baghima Middle School is the meeting point while in Simdega area, the Paledih high School serves as the gathering spot. The flags are fixed firmly in a way that forms a circle within which the people display a mock fight using their weapons.
During the Mahabiri Jhanda Festival, a grand fair is organised, that catches the fancy of not only the Kharias but also a large number of local Hindus residing in the region.
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