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Sunday, January 15, 2012

TUSU - the festival of paying homage to the brave lady warrior

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TUSU is an important festival of Panch-pargana area of Jharkhand state of India. Songs and music contribute a lot to the celebration of this festival.

TUSU starts with the installation of Tusu - idol on the occasion of Agahan - Sankranti, falling at the juncture of November and December months. The idol of Tusu is merged into water on Poush- Sankranti, falling at the juncture of December and January.

The Tusu-idol is installed in a pre-defined house of the village. Girls of the village assemble at a place in the village and sing songs of Tusu.

The origin place of this festival is considered as Satighat on the bank of the river Swarna Rekha in Jharkhand. A fair is organised there on the day of Makar Sankranti. This place is located half kilometer south of the confluence of Swarna Rekha, Radhu and Kanchi rivers.

What is TUSU?
According to social recognitions, there was a beautiful girl of a poor Kurmi family. The beauty of the girl was gradually recognised across the whole state and at last the King of the area also came to know about the girl. Impressed by the beauty of the girl he framed a strategy to catch her.

Once when the whole state was passing through a tragic calamity, farmers of the area became too hard up to pay the agricultural tax to the king. The king doubled the tax and started charging it from the poor farmers. Tusu organised the farmers of the area and marched ahead. A fierce battle was fought between the farmers and the army of the king. Thousands of farmers were killed in the battle. Farmers were defeated and the soldiers of the king tried to trap Tusu for him. Tusu jumped into the flooded river and disappeared. The festival TUSU is celebrated in the memory of the sacrifice of that young, brave and beautiful girl. The society pays homage to the brave girl by disposing her idol into the river after a long worship.

Celebration of TUSU
Unmarried girls of villages install idols of Tusu in earthen plates on the first day of Poush month or January. Balls of rice, cow dung along with flowers etc are placed in the plate. Big idols are also installed at certain places. The idol of Tusu is worshipped by lighting lamps and offering flowers. Tusu is worshipped traditional methods and welcomed by singing different traditional songs. The Tusu fair goes on for hours in every night. Girls worship Tusu every evening for the whole month and on the end day, the idol of Tusu is merged into water.

Image 1

Image 2

Key Words: Tusu, girls, Swarna Rekha, Kanchi, fair
Photo credit: Image 1 Sanatanu Bose; Image 2 netindia.in

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