The tribal residents of Steel and Coal belt of Bokaro and Dhanbad are geared up for the harvest festival ‘Tusu’. The three-days festival kicked off today with great fun-fare, will continue till 14 January. While in few parts it will observed till a week.
The small and moderate scale hotels literally close down their shops, as most of the labourers goes on holiday during the festivity.
Tusu is a unique festival of tribals, primarily celebrated by unmarried tribal girls of Jharkhand and West Bengal and Orissa; this festival is noted for its colorful songs, which express the stories and the experiences of livelihood.
“Actually this festival is dedicated to Goddess Tusu for which people throngs on the bank of river for a lot of rituals. ‘Mela’ were also observed on the bank of the river which draws the maximum crowd every year.
Anil Mahato a BSL employee and a resident of Tandbalidih said, “Melas are a traditional part of Tusu, it is organised with an aim to bring the traditional tribal culture and tribal artisans to the limelight. “Tusu Parab derived its origin from the cultural roots of Birbhum district; celebrated during the holy occasion of Makara Snakranti and performed only by the girls”, he added.
The young girls prepared the idols of Goddess Tusu with clay and later go to a nearby river where they then sanctify themselves by taking a dip. After taking a bath, the females start praising the Goddess by singing various local songs. These very songs are known as Tusu in Bengal. A plate of rice is also offered to the deity on the occasion, said Sambhu Nath another villager.
“Tusu Parab in Bengal does not involve any kind of musical apparatus as such and is enriched by vocal variations only. Having a rich and religious significance, Tusu Parab acts as a medium of devotional expression of the girls”, he added.
Makara Sankranti depicts the auspicious harvest season of the rural Bengal. The girls of every peasant family participate in Tusu Parab with the hope that the Goddess will shower holy bless on her. On this auspicious eve various tribal groups carried the idol of Goddess Tusu for immersion. The festival basically celebrated as a harvest carnival, with traditional fanfare and jollity, he said.