Bolangir: The annual ‘Sulia Yatra’ began in Bolangir Tuesday. Thousands of tribals observed the annual yatra by sacrificing animals and birds in Khairgura and Kumuria villages under Deogaon block of this district.
The rituals began late Monday night after ‘Nisi Puja’ was conducted by the tribal residents. Four Magistrates, one DSP and five platoons of police forces were present at the spot.
As per rituals, the tribals, holding weapons, took out a rally. Later, they worship gods and goddesses with ancient rituals. Thousands of birds and animals like cock, pigeon, fowl, goat, sheep and buffalo calf were sacrificed at Bada Khala and Nua Khala of Sulia Pitha this morning. However, the police personnel did not try to stop the gory ritual and their role was limited to maintaining law and order.
Meanwhile, hundreds of devotees from outside the State also thronged the Sulia Pitha to witness the annual festival and the animal sacrifices which tribal believe is an act of gratitude to the deity and meant to pay back the debt after fulfilment of their wishes.
The Sulia Yatra is one of the major festivals of tribals of western Odisha. The previous evening, Lord Shiva is worshipped first and next early morning, animal sacrifice is performed during the festival. This festival takes place on the second Tuesday of the month of Pausha.
Despite the Odisha High Court’s orders and the district administration’s attempt to prevent animal sacrifice, hundreds of animals and birds are slaughtered every year to mark the festival.