Village where Holi has not been celebrated for 150 years

March 10th, 2009 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bokaro (Jharkhand), March 10 (IANS) There is one village in Jharkhand that will not celebrate Holi Wednesday. They have not celebrated the festival for 150 years, fearing a natural calamity if they do so.
Famine and deaths will follow if they celebrate Holi, believe residents of Durgapur village on the banks of the Khanjo river in Bokaro district, around 170 km from Ranchi.

“Since my childhood I have not seen any celebration of Holi in the village. Some people who celebrated the festival some 50 years ago died,” 85-year-old villager Maghi Mahto said.

Narrating the incident, he said: “Just after independence a few traders stayed on the day of Holi in our village. Going against our suggestion they celebrated Holi and died within a month. The cattle in their possession also died.”

He said the incident reaffirmed the belief of villagers.

“The villagers who want to celebrate Holi move out of the village and celebrate the festival in their relatives and friends’ villages,” he added.

Another villager Sudama said: “Those who celebrate Holi outside the village face no problem. The colourless Holi seems to be fate of the village.”

Villagers believe that Holi was last celebrated in Durgapur about 150 years ago during the reign of King Durga Prasad Singh.

“When Holi was celebrated in the village, cattle died and no crops grew for three successive years. The fear of famine prevents people from celebrating Holi,” Mahto said.

Another resident, 78-year-old Gajraj Mahto, said: “During our childhood when we insisted on celebrating Holi, our grandfather used to tell us King Durga Prasad Singh’s story. We used to celebrate the festival in my maternal uncle’s village.”

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