India | Uttaranchal


Jagar is a ritual performed to invoke the presence of the family or community deity. The people residing in the rural areas of Uttaranchal follow this practice to find the remedies for the problems afflicting them. The person who invokes the spirits is called as Jagaria. The person, whose body acts as a medium for the spirits, is called as Dangeria. This ceremony is marked by dance, songs and music. The folk song sung in the praise of the spirits and ghosts is also called Jagar.

A Jagar when held in for a community is termed as Baisi. This ceremony extends to 22 days. It is usually held during winter nights, around a community fire called Dhuni. The Jagaria sings songs praising the heroic deeds of the community deity. He activates the spirit of the deity in the body of the Dangeria. The Dangeria, on being possessed by the spirit, starts shivering and dancing. The people put forth the problems affecting them, which is promptly responded by the Dangeria in some meaningless words. The people decipher the words and make out the proposed remedies, which they duly accept.

The female person possessed by the deity is called Pari (Fairy). She dresses in colorful costume and performs a dance, called deep dance, holding plates laden with lamps. Sometimes she and the Dangeria perform extraordinary acts like walking on fire and licking red-hot spades. The Jagaria, Dangeria and the Pari have to observe some code of conduct to maintain their powers.

The Jagar along with being a ritual is also a source of entertainment for local people during the winter nights.

Updated on 6th July, 2014


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