India | Orissa

Karma Puja

Karma Puja is an eight days long festival celebrated in the month of Margasira (November-December). It is celebrated mostly by the tribal people of Keonjhar District, in Orissa. The first seven days are spent with preparation of offerings to the deity and ends with offerings to the presiding deity.

On the first day of Karma Puja, two young bachelors collect a handful of new pulses (green gram, black gram, mustard and horse gram) and keep the collected pulses on the bank of a stream in a bamboo basket. Till the end of the festival, these men prepare their food themselves and eat it being untouched by others. Every day they sprinkle water on these pulses after taking bath in the stream. On the last day of the festival, they plant two branches of Karama tree in front of the Mandaghar (dormitory). The germinated grains are placed beside the branches of the Karama tree. The youngsters of the village then dance around the Karama twigs. On the next day two fowls are sacrificed here and the baskets containing grains along with the branches are carried in a procession to a nearby river or Nala and immerse there.

Karma Puja forms an integral part of tribal culture and the tribal people celebrate it with great vigor.

Updated on 22nd September, 2015


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