Md Nur Islam Nayan, Dinajpur \ Karam Puja or festival is one of the rich folklore and culture of the tribals. Dressed in colorful red and yellow sarees and khopas with flowers and dancing to the rhythm of the music, the Onraod community of the small village celebrates their big festival Karam festival.
The festival will last from Tuesday evening on September 6 in the tribal village of Dinajpur’s Suihari Khalpara. In the tribal village of Suihari Khalpara, Dinajpur, the puja of this traditional Karam festival was performed by Sane Ekka, the ‘Madaya (Priest)’ of the community.
From early morning, the men and women of the small-towns began to come and dance together with the sound of madals and mandirs. The young and the old take part in the songs and rhythmic dances sung in the micro-ethnic’s own language. The different ethnicities of the small-scale population of the plains danced and highlighted their own culture, their traditions and Sanskrit. This event showcases the unique culture of the small community of people of various professions called Dhal to enjoy the festival of Baichatrapurna.
The Karam festival is considered the biggest event of their year. This Karam festival is held in 3 phases. Eka Karam which is performed at home with single effort, Domasi Karam starts at the end of Bhadra month and ends at the beginning of Ashwin month, 10 Karam is observed by everyone in the area on the 10th lunar day of Bhadra month. This festival is usually held when the monsoons are at their peak in the world and the rice plants are standing in the field and the rice plants have not grown to the ears. This festival is mainly performed before the rice harvest and during leisure time as a “Festival of Abundant Harvest” and to give strength to stand in the field.
In addition to this, Karam villagers also pray for good children for the youth of the village. The main event of the Karam festival is the cutting of three branches of the Karam tree by the women of the village as the Karam Raja in the center of the village arena. Karam’s story is heard sitting around Dal. After that the boys and girls of the village dance around Karam Raja for the whole night. The next morning the young girls distribute the specially prepared jawa pupa among their brothers and relatives.
As the heat of the morning sun rises, the pahans pick up the karam dal and respectfully float it in a nearby pond or river and participate in the family feast. According to historians, long ago, after being defeated in a battle by the Aryas from Rohitasgarh in Patna, they fled for their lives and the Aryas chased them. After a long journey, exhausted and taking shelter under a karam tree, the Aryas surprisingly turn back and are in danger. They believe that the Karam tree has saved them.
From this belief, on that day they started worshiping the Karam tree and they celebrated this festival with dignity by remembering this memory.