Festivals of Chhattisgarh
Bastar Dassera is the region's most important festival, and all the tribes participate in the 10-day event. The tribals celebrate Dassera as a congregation of Devi Maoli, and all her sisters. Hundreds of priests bring flower-bedecked local deities to the Danteshwari temple in Jagdalpur, arriving with all pomp and show. Bastar Dassera is believed to have been started, in the 15th century, by Maharaj Purushottam Deo, the fourth Kakatiya ruler.
This fortnight-long tourism event, organized to coincide with Bastar Dassera , showcases the best of Bastar. It takes place every year after the monsoons, when the forests and waterfalls are at their best. Tribal handicrafts can be bought directly from artisans. A folk arts festival of tribal dances and music, Bastar Parab, is organized in Jagdalpur.
This tribal festival is celebrated by the tribes of Kanker and Bastar regions, to worship the local Goddess. The Goddess is taken all through the Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada regions from December to March each year. In December, celebrations start in Bastar to honour the Goddess Kesharpal Kesharpalin Devi. In January, the people of Kanker, Charama and Kurna celebrate the festival. In February the festival goes back to Bastar and Cheri-Chher-Kin is honoured this time. Towards the end of February, the festival goes to Antagarh, Narayanpur and Bhanupratappur. In March it goes to Kondagaon, Keshkal and Bhopalpattanam. It is held in a big ground, so that thousands of people can attend the ceremony, which starts with a procession of the local Goddess, followed by worship of the same, culminating in cultural programs, dancing and lots of good food.
Celebrated in the month of 'Shravan', Hareli is a symbol of agricultural prosperity. Farmers worship farm tools and cows on this occasion. They place branches and leaves of 'Bhelwa' (a tree resembling cashew tree) in the fields and pray for good harvest. People also hang small Neem branches at the main entrance of houses on this occasion to prevent occurrence of seasonal diseases.
Pola follows Hareli. It is celebrated by worshipping bullocks. Children play with idols of Nandi bull (the vehicle of Lord Shiva) made of clay and fitted with clay wheels. A bull race is a major event of the festival.
BhagOdia Festival is a popular festival among Bhil tribes of the region and Bhagoradev or the God of dance is worshipped on this occasion.
Kajari Festival is another important festival of Chhattisgarh region, which falls on the same day as Raksha Bandhan that is on the Shravan Purnima.
Kora, Navakhani and
Cherta Festivals are also important agricultural festivals of