BARIPADA: Amidst the beating of drums and blowing of conch, the spring festival, popularly known as Chaitra Parva, concluded here on Saturday. Every year, the famous Chhau festival is observed for three days from April 12 to Mahabishuva Sankranti. But this year, the festival was celebrated for two days by Uttar Sahi and Dakhina Chhau groups.
Traditionally, it is celebrated by the two Chhau groups with financial support from Mayurbhanj district administration. This time, the district administration did not participate in the festival due to enforcement of model code of conduct for General Elections. “Chaitra Parva is not just a festival. It is an emotional bond as it focuses on the artistic culture of Chhau dance. The dance form is acclaimed for its composition of various elements which have enriched the tradition of Mayurbhanj. This dance form follows the basic principles of Natya Sastra or Bharat Muni and Abhinaya Darpna. Organised by the two associations and Chhau lovers, the festival also aims at promoting tourism and tribal art and dance forms. The festival is dedicated to Shiva and Shakti.
It has similarity with Danda Nrutya being celebrated in the south Odisha districts,” said organisers. “Mayurbhanj Chhau is one such dance form that has incorporated at least 200 themes from ancient mythology to give itself a unique quality,” said Kartikeswar Rana, a Chhau lover. Similarly, devotees perform physical stunts like walking on fire during ‘Patu Yatra’, another attraction of the festival. Artistes and tourists from West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar came in large numbers to participate in the celebrations.