Orissa News

Chaita Parab

Chaita Parab Festival

The most important festival of the tribal people of Koraput is Chaita Parab. It is also observed by the Bhuiyans of Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Keonjhar. Bhuiyans are an ancient Hinduised tribe who greatly influenced the culture of the other tribes. They are also found in Seraikela and Kharswan regions of the district of Singbhoomi in Bihar, where the festival is observed with great enthusiasm.

The festival of Chaitra Parab is known as Bija Pandua among the Koya tribals. The Koya villages are situated on patches of clearings in the midst of dense forests. In each village there happens to be a Bijigudi or house of God. The tribes worship, 'Gudimata', the Mother Earth and also the earth whom they call Bhumu. During the festival they worship the Godlings with liquor and sacrifice an animal or bird. The Bijapandu is the sacred seed from which the festival takes it name. During the festival the men go out hunting and fishing in groups and return home before dark. During the days the women keep on singing and dancing, waiting for their men to come. In the evenings they unite, feast, drink and dance together. The Koyas have special variety of dance for the festival. Men wear huge headgears of bison-horns which are richly decorated with peacock feathers and cowries. The drums are cylindrical and unusually long. Women wear brass-caps and hold sticks fitted with tinkling bells which they strike during the dance in between the beats. They dance in circles singing songs of love.

For the whole month of Chaitra the tribal people remain in festive mood. They wear new clothes, sacrifice animals and birds before their godlings, feast drink, sing and dance. During the day time women, young and old, keep on singing and dancing. The men go out hunting in the jungle. They bring whatever animal comes to their sight. Even they do not spare a jackal. Whatever kill they bring, the meat is distributed among all the villagers. The nights are spent in drinking, singing and dancing. This tribal festival is in fact a period of enjoyment for all in the tribal communities of Orissa.

The festival of Orissa is known as Bijapandu among the tribal people known as Koya who are concentrated in the Malkangiri sub-division of the district of Koraput.