Hareli, the traditional festival of the state related to farming

Raipur ( | Hareli festival has special significance in Chhattisgarh. Hareli is the first festival of Chhattisgarh. In rural areas, this festival is traditionally celebrated with enthusiasm. On this day farmers worship the agricultural implements used in farming, children and youth in the village enjoy the cart. On the initiative of Chief Minister Mr. 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.
The Government of Chhattisgarh is making every possible effort to promote the state’s traditional Teej-festival, Boli-Bhakha, food and rural sports. On the initiative of the Chief Minister, the Forest and Climate Change Department of the State Government has made arrangements for the sale of vehicles at an affordable rate in the C-Mart located in the district headquarters to make vehicles available to the people. According to the tradition, for years, in the village 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 Chhattisgarhia Olympics started last year on the initiative of the Chief Minister 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. Chhattisgarhia Olympic Games are also going to start in the state from the day of Hareli festival, which will continue till the last week of September. On the day of 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 Sahadaev or Thakurdev of the village and give them to the farmers. In return, there has been a tradition of gifting rice, pulses etc. by the farmers.

Hareli festival is celebrated on the new moon day of the Krishna Paksha of the month of Sawan. Hareli literally means greenery. In the rainy season, the earth gets covered with a green sheet. The environment starts to look green all around. By the time Hareli festival comes, the work of farming of 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. Thakur Dev of the village is worshiped and coconut is offered to him.

The tradition of riding a cart is inextricably linked with Hareli Tihar. In rural areas, carts are made by almost all the 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 distance. 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 on 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. Wheat flour is kneaded into round shape and wrapped in castor or khamhar tree leaves and fed to cattle. So that cattle can be saved from various diseases. In the village, Pauni-pasari like Raut and Baiga pull neem branch 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.

On the day of Hareli, children enjoy a cart made of bamboo. In the earlier decade, the village used to get muddy etc. 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 cuisine Gulgul Bhajiya and Gudha Cheela by 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, children throw coconut 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.