Friday, April 16, 2010

Ghosts procession in Jharkhand State of India.

The mythological story of demons, ghosts and spirits accompanying the Lord Shiva's marriage procession is relived on the day.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi















Jharkhand, state in India is basically an Tribal State having its wide range of cultural heritage. The sincerity with which the traditional festivities are celebrated leaves one awe-struck. Even in the modern day of electronic blitzkrieg and channel mania gripping the nation, the simple and easy going rural folks of the State adhere to the ancient culture and traditions being passed on from one generation to the other for centuries now.

The annual ‘Koka Parv (festival)’ of Tamar, about 55kms from Capital city Ranchi, is a classic example of the rural zeal and vigor in living up to the cultural traditions. Tamar is more popularly known for the ancient ‘Deori Temple’. Situated on the NH-33 Ranchi-Jamshedpur highway, the revered ‘Prachin Durga’ (ancient Durga) temple has practically all the commuters on the highway stopping to seek the goddess’ blessings while en-route. The State government too has made it as a landmark tourist interest point.

The annual Koka festival however is celebrated at the Tamar village, about one kilometer interior from the highway. A village of around 12000 inhabitants comprising of people from all sect, join in full strength for the festivities. Both sides of the street through which the procession passes is lined up with spectators, mainly women and children, dressed in colorful attires.
The Koka Parv is celebrated on the Chaith Shivratri day in April. The festival depicts the marriage of Lord Shiva. The mythological story of demons, ghosts and spirits accompanying the Lord’s marriage procession is relived on the day. Only the male folk of the village take part in the procession. People of all ages, right from a three year old to 70 are seen excitedly busy in making themselves up like ghosts, demons or terrifying characters.
Thousands of others attired in various ‘demonic’ garbs, including children, move through the narrow streets living their role, making devilish noises and raising a huge bale of dust en-route. Even handicapped children made up as demons, join the procession on wheel chairs. For about thirty minutes the thousands and thousands of spectators watching the ritual are left awe-struck and dazed with the intensity.




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