Keonjhar: Festive fervour has gripped villages in tribal-dominated Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts with people on their toes to celebrate the Makar festival.
Markets are thronged by tribal people to buy clothes while preparation of cakes is in full swing at homes.
Wearing new clothes, tribals thronged religious places like Ghatagaon and Bhimkund. The administration and temple committees have made arrangements for the devotees.
Thousands of devotees flocked at Debakund and Gonasika and took ritualistic dips in rivers while Makar melas are being organised at various places.
Makar puja is special at Dhanabeni under Harichandanpur block. Melas were organised at religious places in Barahatipur, Dhanabeni, Bhalughar, Tarangabanatala, Ramtirtha, Khalikunda, Asurakhola, Raktatirtha, Kusaleswar, Deogaon and Rasabantala where necessary arrangements have been made.
Kudumi community indulges in revelry and camaraderie in celebrating Tusu festival at the same time. Tusu is an agrarian festival.
They take ritualistic dips in rivers and creeks that they consider holy and worship the deities.
The Kudumis exchange greetings, organise feasts and dance away amid beating of drums and traditional instruments.
Thousands of people thronged various river ghats and other water bodies on the occasion. After holy dips, people made offerings of ‘Makar Chaula’ to their deities.
Scores of people were seen visiting the famous Tarini temple in Ghatagaon.
Kesharikund and Bhimkunda on the borders of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts drew visitors in hordes. Devotees took holy dips at Kesharikund, Devakunda, Bhimkunda, Jhadeswar, Rajnagar, Turumunga and Rupakunda ghats.