Celebrating Pus: the festivals of winter in Bastar

in Module
Published on: 08 August 2019

Anushka Rose

Anushka Rose is the Coordinator for Research and Documentation at Prayas- Center for Labor Research and Action. With a background in action research, she has worked with diverse communities of Central India to foster critical thinking around the idea of development.

Post harvest, the region of Bastar breaks into a series of festivities that celebrate the rewards of paddy harvests. Pus Purnima, the day of the full moon in winter is a highly auspicious day for Adivasis and non Adivasis alike. Jatras of gods are taken out, the Madai gather momentum, and harvests related festivities take place. Different areas celebrate festivities according local calendars, and adivasi customs waver between fluidity and  norm adherence. Cherta is celebrated across the region by children as they roam across homes collecting bounties of the harvest. The practice of keeping collective granaries can be seen in several places, and the bounty collected during Cherta often feeds into the granary. Kolang are festivities in which the kola or pole is inhabited by spirits and taken out by Gond adivasis on jatras accompanied by dance. A variation involves community gatherings across villages which foster friendships and help resolve dispute. 

This module strings together festivities held in winter in the region of Bastar, to examine the many ways in which the bounties of harvest spur enjoyment and exchange of goods. 


This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh to document the cultural and natural heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh.