Festivals in Jharkhand are times when one can witness community living at its best. Music and dance are performed in groups amidst feast and prayers. Tribals are very connected to nature as it is the source of their food and livelihood. Even their folk lures are about freedom struggle for their homeland and their love for nature. They lead an extremely simple life.
Most of the rituals of ”adivasis” in Jharkhand are performed under saal trees. Groves of these trees, known as ”sarna-sthal” or ”Jaher” are located either inside the nearby jungle or in the village itself.Men and women both enjoy ”handia” drink (rice beer)in bowls made of leaves.
During Karam festival, the goddess of youth, power, good health and prosperity is worshipped. Karam dance is performed by men and women by passing the branch of karam tree while dancing. They get into a circle and dance with their hands on each other’s waist.
During the same time, the unmarried tribal girls celebrate Jawa festival. The significance of this festival lies in the fact that it is celebrated primarily for marriage and fertility.
Unmarried girls decorate a tiny basket with germinating seeds. They worship for fine germination of seeds. This is symbolic of enhancing fertility. Another ritual includes offering of melon to Karam deity. This offering symbolises the prayer for birth of son.
Jawa festival is a time to be one with nature. It brings the tribals close to their customs and traditions and also gives them an opportunity to hold the hands of their loved ones and sway to the beat of drums.