Government of Chhattisgarh has declared general holiday to mark the occasion of Harili Festivals. There are many festivals in Chhattisgarh region that are unique and people from across the world come to witness them. Bastar Dushahara is one of such festivals being celebrated here. Well, I am talking about one more festival called Hareli. This is the first time when a public holiday is declared here along with other holidays. Hareli Festival, undoubtedly, holds a special place in the minds of the people in Chhattisgarh because among the various festivals in Chhattisgarh it is one of them which gains name fame in the global arena. Let’s discuss what makes it unique.
It is mainly dedicated to the farmer who starts their agricultural activities with the onset of rain in Chhattisgarh in India. The festival comes off in the month of July every year as the monsoon starts in Shravan month according to the Hindu calendar.
How is it celebrated?
On this day people of the village especially farmers offer Puja (prayers) to their tools meant for agriculture and they stop doing work on this day and perform various religious rites. The tools like shovels & spade, axe, pickaxe, hoe are worshipped with the traditional way in Chhattisgarh and people involve in a lot of activities full of fun &frolic.
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This is one of the activities which is a part of the celebration, the coconut hurled up in the air to the greatest heights by the youth in the village and the one who could throw it at the greatest distance is the winner. Youth enjoys the activity to the fullest.
It’s a kind of dance-form which is performed climbing on bamboo sticks called Gedi. A kind of footrest is made at a certain height of the stick to climb the performers. This gives a picturesque view of performers when they walk and dance climbing up 6 to 7 feet of bamboos. Gedi dance performance requires concentration and balance to a great extent. It is said to be 2000 years old. Connoisseur like Kiran Kher and others had appreciated the performers when it was performed on national television. Chhattisgarh needs to preserve it as it is losing ground by each passing years. Performers like Anil Gerewal and his team are making every possible effort to spread the art in the world platform.
Festivals like Pola and Teeja follow Hareli
People celebrate Pola by worshipping bullocks, children play with clay-made images of bullock-carts attached a wheel to it.
Teej is celebrated by the married women in Chhattisgarh as they pray for their husband’s safety and progress on this occasion. A feeling of togetherness and harmony is filled in every festival of Chhattisgarh
Message in the name of the Festival
Hareli is celebrated in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It symbolizes a new harvest and rainy season. It also gives the message “save the environment” as Hareli literally means greenery around.
Seasonal diseases are common during rainy season and plants of medicinal values like Neem were used to avoid diseases.