Jharkhand tribals celebrate ‘Koka Festival’

Ranchi, Apr 29 : The aboriginals living in the hilly tracts in Tamar village of Jharkhand celebrated the ‘Koka Festival’ devoted to Lord Shiva.

The highlight of the festival is the marriage procession of Lord Shiva.

Thousands of villagers from nearby villages gathered in the compound of ancient Mahadeo Temple to witness the annual colourful procession.

“In the marriage procession of Lord Shiva, the guests were dressed up as Koka (disguised ghosts). When the procession reached the house of the bride, then the mother-in-law and others asked the guests to change their disguised look,” said Ratan Lal Rai, a priest.

The festivities continue throughout the night with dance-drama performances and prayer sessions followed by a fair.

Devotees also observe fasting for the fulfillment of their wishes.

“Devotees observe fasting for the sake of their wishes. Some observe five-day fasting while some observe seven-days fasting,” said Sandip Kumar Mandak, a devotee.

Koka festival is also known as ‘Chaitra Parv’ because of its celebration in Chaitra month as per Hindu calendar.