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Tusu festival, celebration of harvest season involving the worship of the Goddess Tusu

A popular tribal festival of Purulia

26 December, 2020


TEXT BY Nilanjan Ray

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TUSU‌ or ‘Makar Parav’ ‌is‌ a very popular ‌harvest‌ ‌festival‌ that is ‌celebrated in the rural district of‌ ‌Purulia by the ‘Kurmi’ community of West Bengal‌.

The festival is mainly about the collection of songs sung by the unmarried girls during the nights, throughout the month of ‘Poush’.

‌The‌ ‌unmarried‌ ‌girls‌ ‌and‌ ‌women‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌main‌ ‌priests‌ ‌or‌ ‌Organizers of this festival.‌ On the last day ‌of‌ ‌‘Poush’‌ month, ‌just‌ ‌after‌ the ‌immersion‌ ‌of‌ the ‌‘TUSU’ structures‌ into ‌the‌ ‌holy‌‌ waters, people take part in the ‘bathing festival’‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ also known as ‌“Makar‌ ‌Snan”.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌Decorative‌ & colourful ‌object‌ ‌is‌ ‌called‌ ‌"Choudal"‌ ‌which‌ symbolizes the sun and ‌is‌ ‌used‌ ‌as the vehicle for the immersion of ‘Tusu’.

‌Boys‌ ‌sing‌ ‌to‌ ‌tease‌ ‌young‌ ‌girls‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌excitement‌ ‌of‌ ‌Tusu‌ ‌grips‌ ‌inhabitants‌ ‌of‌ ‌West‌ ‌Bengal. As a Tusu song says, “Aasshche‌ ‌maker‌ ‌do‌ ‌dini‌ ‌sabr‌ ‌kar‌ ‌saya‌ ‌saari‌ ‌jugaar‌ ‌kar‌” meaning ‘The‌ ‌festival‌ ‌is‌ ‌just‌ ‌two‌ ‌days‌ ‌away, hence, ‌arrange‌ ‌for new‌ ‌clothes’‌. ‌Such‌ ‌folk‌ ‌songs‌ ‌reflect‌ ‌the‌ ‌simplicity‌ ‌and‌ ‌innocence‌ ‌of‌ ‌tribal‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌most‌ ‌vociferously‌ ‌express‌ ‌their‌ ‌love‌ ‌and‌ ‌affection‌ ‌for‌ ‌Goddess‌ ‌Tusu.‌ ‌

Tusu‌ ‌is‌ ‌also‌ ‌celebrated‌ ‌in‌ ‌Jharkhand‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌eastern‌ ‌and‌ ‌north-eastern‌ ‌States,‌ ‌thereby‌ being ‌a‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌State’s‌ ‌colourful‌ ‌tradition‌ ‌to‌ ‌other‌ ‌regions‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌nation.‌ ‌‌Boys‌ ‌sing‌ ‌to‌ ‌tease‌ ‌young‌ ‌girls‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌excitement‌ ‌of‌ ‌Tusu‌ ‌grips‌ ‌inhabitants‌ ‌of‌ ‌West‌ ‌Bengal.

Photographer - Nilanjan Ray


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