Charak Puja celebrated across Barak Valley

SILCHAR, April 16: Charak Puja also known as Nil Puja was celebrated with great enthusiasm by people belonging to the economically poorersection of society. Charak Puja is a very enchanting folk festival of Barak Valley. The believers of the Hindu religion celebrate this on the last day of Chaitra (Chaitra Shankranti). According to the legend, people believe that the festival will carry prosperity by eliminating the sorrow and sufferings of the bygone year. The festival is actually a festival to satisfy 'Lord Shiva', the great 'Debadideb' of Hindu Religion. Thoughthe festival takes place on the mid night of Chaitra Shankranti, the preparation phase usually starts before one month of the day. The astute devotees of the festival move from village to village to procure the necessary offerings for puja which include paddy, oil, sugar, salt, honey, money with boys incarnated as Shiva,Parvati, locally called Gouri, and Kali. On the midnight of Shankranti, the worshippers gather to worship the God and after puja prasad is distributed. The women performing rituals doesn't take any food before the puja on this day. A significant partof the festival is human 'Charak' whichis made ready to satisfy Lord Shiva. The 'Charak' is tied with a hook (Borshi) on his back and then he is moved around a bar with a long rope.It is a painful and also hazardous practice, but the devotee takes it in his stride. (Source-SentinelAssam)

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