Sunday, January 1, 2017

SULIA JATRA IN BALANGIR ON JAN 3 Sunday, 01 January 2017 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

SULIA JATRA IN BALANGIR ON JAN 3
Sunday, 01 January 2017 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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This year, annual Sulia Jatra would be held on January 3, the first Tuesday of the Odia Pausha month, at Khairguda in Kultapda gram panchyat under Balangiri district’s Deogan block, 20 km from here.
Notably, tribals have been worshipping Sulia Budha at the village by the side of Sulia Dangar hill for more than a hundred years ago, said Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangha secretary Niranjan Bisi.
According to a legend, the Sulia Puja was being observed on the top of the mountain in earlier times. Once, the priest had forgotten to bring one of the puja pots. When the priest went to bring the pot, all the deities were sitting at a meeting then.
The deities wanted to know why he visited again. When the priest explained about his visit, the deity threw away the pot and told him to worship there where it falls. Since then, the festival is being worshiped at the village. Prior to the day of Sulia Jatra, the worshiping of deity is held at the mountain top in the night around 2/3am by tribals in naked body. The Puja is known as Nishi Puja and conducted by the priest and two other tribals, said Bisi.  Every year, hundreds of birds and animals like hens, pigeons, goats, sheep and buffalos are sacrificed on the occasion of the Sulia Jatra. Non-tribals too offer animals after their “wishes” are fulfilled by the blessings of Sulia Budha, the presiding deity.  Besides Khairguda, (popularly known as Badkhala), the puja is also conducted at other five others places, Kumria, Chantipali of Gudvella block, Mirdhapali in loisingha block, Kharlikani and Barpudgia in Balangir block. However, like every year, rationalists have been demanding stopping of animal killings at the Sulia Puja. Unfortunately, this demand has still remained unheard of. 
“We are observing festivals as per our traditional rituals. Animal killings have been going on inside the forest once a year for more than a hundred years ago. Others should not interfere in the tribal rights and customs,” said Bisi
A preparatory meeting for the festival would be held very soon, informed Bisi.


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