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Hareli Festival

The Hareli festival is one of the popular festivals Chhattisgarh. Farmers celebrate this festival in the month of Shravan, by worshipping farm equipment and cows. They place branches and leaves of the Bhelwa tree in the fields and pray for a good crop, and also hang small Neem branches at the main entrance of their homes to prevent seasonal diseases. For the next 15 days, Baigas (the traditional medical practitioners) teachi their disciples - this goes on till panchami (the day following Ganesh Chaturthi) or the months of July and August in the Gregorian calendar. On panchami, they examine their disciples, and if satisfied with their performance, grant them the license to practice medicine. Children play gedi (walking on bamboo) and take part in a gedi race.

Hareli festival is of special importance among Gond tribes. During this time the farmers of Chhattisgarh worship their equipments used for farming and cows. The farmers pray for a good harvest and the basic theme of this festival is manly nature centric. The manifestations in rituals are simple, though the prayers are ardent.

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