THE FUN AND FROLIC OF MADAI FESTIVAL

Madai is a popular, dynamic religious festival from Chhattisgarh which celebrates the ancient culture of the local tribes. Known for being an inclusive ‘moving festival’, each year scores of locals throng together to celebrate this festival together and make merry whilst worshipping the Goddess…

WORDS BY- SANGEETA S

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Each year, the Madai Festival is celebrated by the tribes of Gond community in Chhattisgarh with a lot of pomp and enthusiasm. This popular festival reflects the rich culture and tradition of the people of this State. For this festival that is typically celebrated between the months of December to March each year, locals gather together on a large ground and then start a procession from one location to another, giving everyone an opportunity to enjoy and participate in this festival.

The movement of the festival from one location to another is a unique feature of this festival, which allows every tribe and other human groups of Chhattisgarh to enjoy this amazing festival. It can be also called a festival that travels. During the festival, the locals sacrifice a goat in honor of the tribal Gods and a special ritual is conducted.

Large numbers of believers of the deity and public gather to witness and perform in these rituals. At the end of the procession, the head priest worships the Goddess, people offer their prayers and then the procession starts.

Various cultural events are also organized during the festival which reflects the rich culture and tradition of the people and the state. The festival originated from the ancient tribal traditions and customs of Chhattisgarh. The dances and the exquisite costumes are worth watching.

People enjoy this festival with their families and a huge fair is held wherein shops selling seasonal specialties, food and drink and of course, entertainment is organised. Local artisans also get an opportunity to display their art and sell their products during this time.

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Greetings are exchanged and there is a happy environment all around. Festivities continue throughout the night where people eat, drink, and enjoy. On the whole, the festival reflects the unique culture of the state which is still practiced and maintained by the tribals.

Chhattisgarh is a vibrant state that is known for its forests, natural beauty and a large number of tribal folk that inhabit here. These locals have a fulfilling lifestyle which includes enjoying life to the fullest; food, drink, music, dances, and festivals which form an integral part of their simple lives. The tribal women love to adorn themselves in ethnic jewelry.

Some of the tribes include – Gonds, Abhuj Maria, Bison Horn Maria, Muria, Halbaa, Dhurvaa and Dorla. The other communities who celebrate this festival include most of the tribes of Bastar and Kanker districts. People of Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Bhanupratappur, Antagarh and Pakhanjore also celebrate Madai.