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    15 days Diwali Festival celebrated by Gujarat Tribals

    Story by Son of Urmila Pareek

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    Bharuch: Members of the tribal communities in and around Gujarat have always cherished their customs and traditions. The rituals may look strange to people belonging to other communities, but to them they define their tribal life as most reliable and nature loving life.

    Diwali, the biggest festival of Hindus, is an indication of good health to these tribal communities. It is a 15-day Diwali celebration for tribals, but they don’t fire crackers like people in the cities do.

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    Instead they burn wood of different types of trees whose smoke they say keeps them healthy and wealthy too. “Tribals say to be wealthy you need to work hard for which it is important to stay healthy. The smoke emitted by different ‘jadi buties’ kills bacteria in the air and helps the tribals to lead a healthy life,” an adivasi activist said.

    The festival ends on Dev Diwali after 15 days of Diwali. On each day of the fortnight-long festival, the villagers greet each other and the youths perform tribal dance. Tribals of Netrang, Sagbara, Dadiyapada and those living along the belt from Panchmahal to Dang in South Gujarat offer liquor and grains to their god and goddess during the festival.

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    They don’t worship only god but they also perform puja of their cattle which gives milk to them and also helps them in farming for entire life. These tribal in this 15 day long festival also worship tress, water storage like river, well, pond etc as they say they have only two gods – one is earth which gives grains and other is sky which gives rain said local leader.

    Tribals from different villages travel to natives and also take part in religious processions in which a holy fire is taken around and then left at the entrance of respective villages to stop all evils from entering their settlements.

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