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Culture of Balangir

Balangir District is named after its headquarter town Balangir. The district was formed on first of January 1948, Where in erstwhile feudatory state of Patna And Sonepur were merged. In 1993 owing to reformation of districts, sonepur was separated from Balangir district and formed a new district named Subarnapur.

Sivaratri and Sitalsasthi of Titilagarh, Ratha Yatra at Places like Balangir, Mursing, Patnagarh, Narasingha Chaturdashi, at Harishanker, Patakhanda yatra at Jarasingha, Kundadeo Yatra of Loisingha, Bael Yatra of Patnagarh, Sulia yatra of Khairguda, Barapurgia and Mirdhapali, Dhanuyatra of Bhaler, Routmunda, Nagoan, Gajalaxmi puja at Agalpur, Chudapali, Dedarha, Ramlila of Jarasingha, Kagaon, Chikalbahal,Tamian, Adendugri will be no less to map the religious festivities of the district.

Apart from these Lokautsava is organized annually with pomp and ceremony at headquarter town of Balangir and in different Sub division and blocks and Patkhanda yatra of Jarasingha,Kumuda Mohatsava of Titilagarh,Jharial mohatsava of Bhainsa and Badmal utsav at Ordnance factory of Saintala and at many other places are keen to promote folk art and culture.

Bhimdunguri Mahostav in Deogan block, Kantabanji Lokautsav, Makar ustav of Kushang, All India Drama festivals organized by Bhumika, Koshli Natabadi organized by SITE cultural association, Lokakala utsav by Dulduli Kalaparishad and routine band activities of ZKSS and BKSS to uplift the folk art and culture need special mention.

Nuakhai is the most famous festival of this area. Apart from this Bhaijintia, Puojintia, puspuni, Laxmi puja etc are observed in the nook & corner of the district with great fanfare and enthusiasm.
The Muslim and Christian community also celebrate their festival in the similar way.

Sital Sasthi: It is the Marriage Ceremony of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. The festival is observed in the month of June with pomp and ceremony at Balangir and is extended for a week. Pilgrims from the neighboring districts and States of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar also participate in the festival. Lakhs of people congregate in this week long festival, mostly in the month of June every year.

Nuakhai: This is the most important social festival of Balangir as well as of whole western Odisha. Generally it takes place during the month of August and September. Preliminary preparation of the festival starts 15 days before the occasion. The first grains of the paddy crop, cooked into various dishes are offered to the deities. There after the eldest member of the family distributes new rice to the junior members of the family. All the household articles are cleaned. People greet each other. It is a community festival celebrated by every Hindu family low and high. Moreover, Nuakhai is the mass festival of the entire west of Odisha (Pasayat 2008: 253-262).during this festival all the member of family they come to home & celebrate the festival of Nuakhai together.

Bhaijuntia:  It is mostly known only in the region of western Odisha. Bhaijiutia festival is celebrated on the Mahastami Day of Durga Puja. It is a total fasting undertaken by women for the whole day and night to seek Goddess Durga’s blessing for the long life of their bhais (brothers).

Puajiuntia: It is another fasting Puja of similar austerity for women of the area. The Puajiuntia festival is observed by mothers to invoke the grace of Lord Dutibahana for the long life and prosperity of their sons.

Shrabana Purnima: During this time devotees of Lord Shiva travel long distance by walk to places like Harishankar, Belkhandi near Titilagarh to pray and offer the holy water to the god. People from other parts outside state like Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh also takes part in such event.

The most popular festivals celebrated by Muslims are Id-Ul-Fitre, Id-Ul-Juha and Muharram. The Sikhs also celebrate the Birth Day of Guru Nanak.

Dalkhai: Dalkhai is the most popular folk dance of Western Odisha. It is known as Dalkhai because in the beginning and end of every stanza the word is used as an address to a girl friend. Mainly the theme of this dance is Radha and Krishna, Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc.

It is performed in various festivals such as Bhaijiuntia, Phagun Puni, Nuakhai, etc. Usually young women from Binjhal, Kuda, Mirdha, Sama and some other tribes of Sambalpur, Balangir, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts, participate in this dance.Dalkhai dance originates from the Sambalpur district of the East Indian state of Orissa. It is the most popular dance form of the Western part of Orissa. The men shout the word ‘Dalkhai Bo!’ at the beginning and end of each stanza sung in the dance.

This is the reason why the dance is known as the Dalkhai dance. The men dancing along with the girls address them during the performance and flirt with them. The themes on which the dance is performed are the eternal love story of Radha and Lord Krishna, episodes from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata and description of nature.

The dance is accompanied by a rich orchestra of folk music played by a number of instruments known as ‘Dhol’, ‘Nisan’ (a typically giant sized drum made of iron case), ‘Tamki’ (a tiny one sided drum 6″ in diameter played by two sticks), ‘Tasa’ (a one sided drum) and ‘Mahuri’. However, the ‘Dhol’ player controls the tempo while dancing in front of the girls

.The main theme of this dance form is Radha and Krishna, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Women and girls wear a colorful printed Sambalpuri saree. They also tie a scarf on their shoulders holding the ends in both the hands. Various traditional pieces of jewellery such as the necklace, bangles, etc. complete the look of the performers.

Oraon dance: The Oraon or Kurukh tribe (Kurukh: Oṛāōn and Kuṛuḵẖ), also spelled Uraon or Oram, are a ethnic group inhabiting states of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. They predominantly speak Kurukh, which belong to dravidian languages family.

Traditionally, Oraons depended on the forest and farms for their ritual and economic livelihood, but in recent times, a few of them have become mainly settled agriculturalists. Many Oraon have migrated to tea garden of Assam and West Bengal. They are listed as a Scheduled Tribe for the purpose of India’s Reservation system. Most Indians in Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname are of Oraon origin.

Since time immemorial The Oraon people have a rich range of folk songs, dances and tales,[19] as well as traditional musical instruments. Both men and women participate in dances, which are performed at social events and festivals. The Mandar, Nagara and Kartal are the main musical instruments. Some kurukh folk dance are war dance(between two parha), Karma dance, Khaddi or Sarhul dance, Phagu, Jadur, jagra, Matha, Benja Nalna(Wedding dance) and Chali(Courtyard dance).[20]

Some traditional festivals of oraon are Sarhul, Karma, Dhanbuni, Harihari, Nayakhani, Khariyani etc. During festivals or any occasions of celebration they consume an alcoholic drink called hadiya, a rice wine made from fermented rice, which distributed among all villagers in a Dona, a bowl of leaves

Ghumura dance: is a folk dance of Kalahandi district of the Indian state Odisha. It is classified as folk dance as the dress code of Ghumura resembles more like a tribal dance, but there are arguments about mudra and dance forms of Ghumura bearing more resemblance with other classical dance forms of India.

Karma Naach: Or Karma Dance is a traditional dance of central and Eastern India annually performed during the karma festival. Karma is a famous autumnal festival, it starts from the 11th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Bhadrab. It is performed in State of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. Karma means ‘fate’.

This folk dance is performed during the worship of the god of fate which is known as Karam Devta. People consider the god of fate as the cause of good and bad fortune.