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Tusu Puja – Tusu Parab or Festival

Tusu Puja, also  known as Tusu Parab, is observed on January 15, 2024 by Tribes in Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam and other northeastern states of India. Tusu festival is a symbol of love and sacrifice. Goddess Tusu stands for kindness, peace, love, sacrifice and virtue. Goddess Tusu is worshipped on the day by tribals that are associated with Tea gardens in these states. A highlight of the festival is the Tusu Geet or song. 

Where is Tusu Puja held?

The festival is an important annual festival in the lower regions of Chhota Nagpur plateau and Ranchi in Jharkhand, Purulia, Birbhum and Bankura districts in Bengal, Mayurbhanj and Keonjar districts in Odisha, and in the Tea districts of Assam.

Tusu Mela

A huge fair is organized during the period in these regions. Rare artifacts, agricultural implements, toy, dress materials, handicraft items are made available during the fair.

When is Tusu Parab Observed?

In West Bengal and other regions it is a one month festival that begins on December 16 and ends on Makar Sankranti day (January 15 or Jan 14).

In most regions in Assam, the festival is observed on January 15 or Jan 14.

How is Tusu Puja Observed in Assam?

During Tusu puja, special murtis (sculptures or idols) of Goddess Tusu are made from mud and are decorated with paint, dress, ornaments and flowers.

Youngsters of the community especially girls carry the statue around the village narrating the story of Goddess Tusu. The songs of Tusu Mata are famous in the region and this is sung by girls. Young girls dress up in traditional attire and participate in the festival. Young boys and men play musical instruments.

During the festive season, Tusu statues are made by sculptures and these are decorated with flower and mud beautifully. Young girls and boys carry the statues from one house to another narrating her story through songs. Young girls dress up in the traditional attire and tie a handkerchief on the head and dance to the music. Here unlike Bengal, music is accompanied by instruments to enhance the ambience these songs create. People here look upon Tusu as their favorite goddess who stands for virtue, kindness, sacrifice and love.

Tusu Bhasan in West Bengal - Tusu Puja in Bengal

Colorfully dressed women prepare Choudalas for Tusu Festival. Wood and bamboo sticks are used make Choudalas, which symbolically represents Goddess Tusu. The wood and bamboo sticks are decorated with dolls, colorful papers, leaves and flowers. They are available in the marked during the festive season. It is also made by young girls at home.

Girls carry the Choudala to a nearby river singing songs. The girls pray for a loving husband and peaceful married life.

Boys in large number come to witness the puja and it is said that boys and girls select their life partners here. 

Story of Goddess Tusu

Tusu was the daughter of a Gujarati king. The king was attacked by the Mughals and therefore Tusa was forced to take refuge in a the court of king of Punjab. Here she fell in love with Sitaram, the king’s son. But Mughals created problems for the couple and therefore they fled to Assam. Here the tribal community of Bhumijs and Chawtals helped them. Tusu and Sitaram got married and settled in the region. But soon Sitaram fell ill and died. Tusu killed herself jumping into her husband’s funeral pyre.