Dried flowers, fire, and merry making mark the Holi of Adivasis in Chhattisgarh

To mark the advent of spring and Holi, tribal communities in Chhattisgarh joyfully welcome spring with colours they have made from palash flowers in the age-old tradition.

गाँव कनेक्शनगाँव कनेक्शन   15 March 2022 10:44 AM GMT

Dried flowers, fire, and merry making mark the Holi of Adivasis in Chhattisgarh

Karwadha, Chhattisgarh

To commemorate the advent of spring, large parts of India burst into colour to celebrate Holi, an age-old festival. While in the past the colours were prepared lovingly with Nature's bounty, today, the markets are flooded with synthetic and chemical colours that are good neither for humans or the planet.

However, in pockets of the country, especially where Adivasi communities live, the festival is celebrated in its true spirit. Preparations begin several days before Holi when the flowers from the palash tree (Butea monosperma) are used to make colours.

"We begin preparations for Holi an entire month ahead. Adivasi women gather the palash flowers and dry them in the sun, powder them and use that as colour," Gopi Krishna Soni, from Basatola village of Kabirdham district, Chhattisgarh, told Gaon Connection. Meanwhile, the menfolk make masks out of bamboo that they wear and dance around to the beat of dholaks and song, he added.

Basatola is situated about 200 kilometres away from the state capital, Raipur in Kanda Vani panchayat.

The Adivasi people collect branches from the semal, tendu or bamboo trees the day before Holi, tie them together and place them in a common area in the village, said Ram Singh Baiga.

"A pit is dug into which some eggs, a finger ring and some coins are placed. There is dancing and singing all night long. Just before the full moon night ends, the village head sets alight the branches and twigs.

All photos: Gopi Krishna.

Read the story in Hindi.

#story #Holi #Chhattisgarh 

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