GUWAHATI: Assam government has declared September 17 a government holiday on account of Karam Puja.
Notably, Karam Puja is one of the major festivals for the tea tribe communities held on September 17.
What is Karam Puja?
Karam puja is the most important festival of tea tribe communities of Assam with a view to propitiating "Mother of Earth" - the goddesses of creation. It is celebrated on the night of "Bhado Ekadasi" which is generally in the mid of August. It is basically an agriculture-related festival. It is believed that by the blessing of God "Karam" they will get bumper crops and their family will be saved from evil.
There is a general belief that the desire of a man germinate send in the human body is fulfilled by the worship of mother earth. Moreover, women pray for better conjugal life. The dancers perform on the night of Karam Puja is called "Jhumair Nritya". It is basically a group dance performed by the rhythm of "Dholl" and "Madal" by a group of young men and women.
It is to be mentioned here that earlier in 2020, the activists of the Assam Tea Tribe Students' Association (ATTSA) Golaghat district unit carried out a cultural protest at Rongajan in Golaghat demanding that Karam Puja should be declared a government holiday.
In the protest, the assistant general secretary of the ATTSA central committee, Jagdish Baraik criticized the BJP government and said that several times the government had assured to fulfil their demand.
On the other hand, the Assam Tea Tribes Students' Association (ATTSA) also staged a cultural protest in front of the office of the Circle Officer, Dhekiajuli Revenue Circle to raise their demand to declare the day of Karam Puja as a State holiday.