Tusu Puja, also called the Tusu Festival, is an important festival in the rural areas of West Bengal and among the tea tribes of Assam. It is a celebration of a bountiful harvest season involving worship of the Goddess Tusu. In Assam, the festival is celebrated in the months of Maagh and Puh. In the Gregorian calendar, it often falls in January.
Origin of the festival
The word ‘tusu’is believed to have its origin from the Bengali word for rice bran which is ‘tush’. The Goddess Tusu is visualized as a young girl and a cosmic goddess. The rituals were performed in the Tusu Puja revolve around tribal devotional songs sung by women folk as well as rituals around the harvest. The image of the goddess is immersed at the end of the festivities in nearby rivers to the accompaniment of music from tribal musical instruments called dhamsa madol. Vibrant fairs are also organized in conjunction with the festival.
How celebrations take place?
The goddess is worshiped by unmarried young girls. During the festival, mud sculptures are made of the goddess, decorated with colorful flowers, and placed on a special wooden structure. Children carry the statues from house to house singing folk songs that narrate stories of her valor. Young girls in the community dress in their traditional attire and dance to the rhythm of the ritualistic music from traditional musical instruments. The goddess symbolizes the virtues of sacrifice, compassion, and love.