Tribals of Tripura celebrate Ganga festival

February 4th, 2009 - 2:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Tripura, Feb 4 (ANI): A large number of Tribals in Tripura recently celebrated the Ganga festival to worship the holy river Ganga, which is revered by millions of Hindus in India and across the world as a divine river.
Of many festivals in the hilly northeastern states, Ganga festival holds its own importance in the times of dying cultural heritage.
Members of about five tribal communities on Tuesday, gathered by a streamside of river Howrah and traditionally pealed off three pieces of bamboo into beautiful flowers. Then they created a temple made of bamboo sticks in the middle of the river and the rituals were carried on.
A group of tribal priests performed the rituals and offered prayers at the newly constructed temple.
The annual Ganga festival celebrated during February-March was gradually losing ground, but the state authorities have now come forward to support the local residents and religious-minded to celebrate the auspicious festival.
“We pray for peace and prosperity. We believe if this annual festival is not celebrated it will bring bad luck upon us. We have been celebrating it for decades and now even the authorities are helping us,” said Uttam Narayan Debbarma, a priest in the local church.
Ganga puja is celebrated every year after the observation of Navanna, the festival of new rice.
Local residents say that the festival dates back to the period of Royal Manikya Dynasty that ruled Tripura for around five centuries between 1458-1947.
This festival has successfully remained an inseparable part of the culture of the tribal community, which constitutes about thirty percent of Tripura’’s population. (ANI)

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