The Hareli festival of Chhattisgarh is with great pomp and gaiety.
The word ‘Hareli’ comes from ‘Haryali’ in Hindi which means greenery.
It is mainly a festival in the months of July and August.
Hareli festival has special significance in Chhattisgarh.
Hareli is the first festival of Chhattisgarh
In rural areas, this festival is traditional with enthusiasm.
On this day farmers worship the agricultural implements in farming, and children and youth in the village enjoy the cart.
To be precise, the Hareli festival in Chhattisgarh occurs on the new moon day of the month or the Sravana Amavasya.
This is, actually a festival of harvest focusing on the monsoon of the year.
The Goddess ‘Kutki Dai’ is the presiding deity worshiped during this festival for good crops.
Hareli festival among the Gond tribes
Chhattisgarh Hareli festival is of special importance among the Gond tribes.
The farmers of Chhattisgarh worship the equipment used for farming and cows in the Hareli festival.
The theme is mainly nature-centric and the basic prayer by the simple, innocent people of Chhatisgarh in the Hareli festival is for a good harvest.
The manifestations in rituals are simple, though the prayers are ardent.
During the Hareli festival the people of Chhattisgarh place branches of the Bhelwa tree on their respective fields.
They also place branches of the Neem tree on the entrance of their houses as Neem has medicinal properties and wards off diseases as well as insects.
The Baigas or the traditional medical practitioners of Chhattisgarh teach and appraise their students.
The Hareli festival of Chhattisgarh is also by the interesting ‘Gedi’.
Mounted on sticks, the children of Chhattisgarh walk around the fields and also take part in the Gedi race.
Pat Jatra on Hareli Festival
Pat Jatra occurs every year on the occasion of Hareli Amavasya.
It marks the beginning of the Bastar Dusshera Festival.
The famous 75-day-long festival is celebrated by the ethnic groups of the Bastar region to honor the goddess Danteswari.
Pat Jatra is the ritual that embraces worshipping of Sal tree wood.
This wood is known as ‘Thurlu Kotla’ or ‘Tika pata’ in the local dialect.
Traditionally, one of the ethnic groups is given the responsibility of selecting and bringing the sal wood from the forest.
Various offerings are made while the ritual is performed.
The whole traditions and rituals in pat Jatra are a way to honor the significance of wood and forests in the lives of tribal people.
After the ritual of worshipping the sal wood is performed, it is submitted for making the tools like hammers, etc.
These tools are later used in constructing a chariot that is pulled by the locals during the 9 days of Navratri.
The wood is brought from the Machkot or Bilori forest which is known to be abundant with sal trees in Bastar region.
The wood is bought to Jagdalpur and the ritual takes place in front of Danteswari temple in Jagdalpur town.
On the initiative of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, a public holiday has also been declared on this festival of public importance.
Due to this, the importance of Chhattisgarh’s culture and folk festivals has also increased.
Chhattisgarhi Olympics is also being started to involve more and more people in this folk culture festival.
According to the tradition, for years, in the villages of Chhattisgarh, before Hareli Tihar, the order of the cart used to be placed in the carpenter’s house, and on the insistence of the children, the parents used to make the cart somehow.
In collaboration with the Forest Department, the cart has been made available at C-Mart at an affordable rate, so that children and young people can enjoy riding the cart to the maximum.
The Chhattisgarh Olympics started last year on the initiative of the Chief Minister and gained immense popularity.
In view of this, to make the Chhattisgarh Olympics 2023-24, starting on the day of Hareli Tihar, even more exciting, two new sports rope jumping and wrestling have also been included in the single category.
Chhattisgarh Olympic Games are also going to start in the state from the day of the Hareli festival, which will continue till the last week of September.
On the day of the Hareli festival, to protect the health of livestock, medicated flour balls are fed.
In the village, the people of the Yadav community go to Vananchal and bring Kandamul and provide herbal medicine to the farmers for the animals on the day of Hareli.
The people of the Yadav community boil the herbs brought from the forest near the Sahadaev or Thakurdev of the village and give them to the farmers.
In return, it has been a tradition of farmers to gift rice, pulses, etc.
More about the Hareli festival
In the rainy season, the earth gets covered with a green sheet.
The environment starts to look green all around.
By the time the Hareli festival comes, the work of farming Kharif crops, etc. is almost done.
Mothers make cheela of jaggery.
After washing agricultural implements, worshiping with incense and lamps, coconut and jaggery are offered as cheela.
riding a cart
The tradition of riding a cart is inextricably linked with Hareli Tihar.
In rural areas, carts are made by almost all families.
The children and youth of the family enjoy the car very much.
The cart is made of bamboo.
Two bamboos are nailed at equal distances.
Another bamboo piece is torn from the middle and divided into two parts.
It is tied with a coconut rope and two pouas are made.
This paua is actually a foot donation which is tied on top of a nail placed in two bamboos that were previously split lengthwise.
While walking in the vehicle, the sound of rach-rach comes out, which makes the atmosphere more enjoyable.
That’s why farmer brothers bathe and worship livestock etc. on this day.
Knead wheat flour and make round balls and wrap it in castor or khamhar tree leaves and feed medicine to cattle.
So that cattle can be saved from various diseases.
Pauni-pasari like Raut and Baiga in the village pull neem branches at the door of every house.
Blacksmiths in the village put nails in the door frame to ward off the fear of evil.
This tradition still exists in rural areas.
during the rains, at that time it is a different pleasure to visit the street by cart.
With the concretization of streets in every village, now the problem of mud has been removed to a great extent.
On the day of Hareli, the housewives prepare a variety of Chhattisgarhi dishes in their stoves.
Farmers offer Chhattisgarhi dishes Gulgul Bhajiya and Gudha Cheela.
Also worshiping their agricultural tools like Nangar, Kopar, Datari, Tangia, Basula, Kudari, Sabbal, Gaiti, etc.
Apart from this, Gedi is also worshipped.
In the evening, youths, and children throw coconuts in the village street and play various games like Kabaddi in the village ground.
Daughter-in-law wears new clothes and enjoys playing Sawan Jhula, Billas, Kho-Kho, Fugdi, etc.
Chhattisgarh is also known for folk cuisine along with Lokparv.
in Chhattisgarh, some special dishes for Hareli are also cooked in every household.
such as jaggery cheela, thethri, khurmi, and gulgula bhajia.
It is also believed that the teaching of Tantra Vidya started from the new moon day of Shravan Krishna Paksha i.e. Hareli.
From this day onwards, mantras are taught to inquisitive disciples.
So.in the state protects them from many problems including jaundice, removal of poison, protection from the evil eye, epidemic, and protection from outside air.
On the day of Hareli, the demand for blacksmiths increases in every village.
On this day blacksmiths bless the main door of every house by applying neem leaves and hammering nails in the door frame.
It is believed that doing so protects the people living in that house from evil.
In return, the farmers voluntarily give pulses, rice, vegetables, and cash to them as a donation.
On the day of the Hareli festival, many types of events are by the Chhattisgarh government for the past few years.
As the Gothans of the state are decorated.
Chhattisgarhi games like cart race, fugdi, bumblebee, and tug of war are in the Gothans.
Along with this, there is a complete system of Chhattisgarhi cuisine in Gauthans.
So, behind this, the intention of the state government is to connect the people of Chhattisgarh with their traditions and culture.
so that people can feel proud of Chhattisgarh’s rich art culture, Teej festival, and traditions.