Jamshedpur, Jan 11: The tribals in and around the city are gearing up to celebrate Tusu, the harvest festival, with traditional fanfare and gaiety. Various social and cultural organisations are preparing to organise Tusu Mahotsav at places like Domuhani, Sonari (the meeting point of Subarnarekha and Kharkai) and Itagarh on January 14. The district administration has issued guidelines to ensure that the festival is celebrated with social distancing with devotees wearing masks.
Hundreds of people, especially tribals, would assemble there to take part in the annual celebrations. Various tribal groups would carry the idol of Goddess Tusu for immersion. The mela at Sonari, one of the oldest in the city, draws the maximum crowd. It is famous for organising traditional events with festivities. However, this year restrictions have been imposed.
“Melas are a traditional part of Tusu but this time there is a ban on mass gathering. It is organised with an aim to bring the traditional tribal culture and tribal artisans to the limelight. We have also planned a number of contests during the mela,” said Dikuram Manjhi, president, organising committee, Tusu Mela Samiti, Itagarh.
People start flocking in groups from the morning carrying their Tusu idols and the choudal. The annual mela that is organised by Jharkhand Ekta Manch at Gopal Maidan is also one of the most sought after fair. People from different places came to the Tusu mela in large numbers.
“Traditionally, groups of artists and performers from rural areas visit different Tusu melas and participate in competitions for the best idol or best decorated choudals,” said a member of the organising committee. Prizes in galore would be distributed to the winners of the competitions.
The young girls prepare 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, Mahato said.
“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.
Makar Sankranti depicts the auspicious harvest season of rural Bengal. The girls of every peasant family participate in Tusu Parab with the hope that the Goddess will shower holy blessing on her.
On this auspicious eve various tribal groups carry the idol of Goddess Tusu for immersion. The outlook of the festival attracts a lot of people and dozen-odd giant Tusu idols-towering choudals-an elongated structure like a temple with figures of tribal deities on it, line up for immersion. The festival is basically celebrated as a harvest carnival, with traditional fanfare, he said.