The Chaitra Parva Chhau Festival is a significant festival for the people of Orissa, which continues for three successive days. It is observed by the ‘Bhuiyans Tribe’ in many regions of Orissa, especially in Koraput, where the festival is celebrated with utmost fervour.
The festival is primarily attached to Mayurbhanj Chhau, a significant dance form of Orissa. It involves dancers wearing masks called ‘Chhau’ which comes from the word ‘Chhaya’, meaning shadow. This dance form has elements of folk, martial arts, and classical in it. Besides dance, the festival also has some religious fervour associated with it. People of Orissa worship Lord Shiva during this month and it is believed that if Lord Shiva is called upon during this time, He will bring prosperity to the individual and the community as a whole.
Celebrations of the Chaitra Parva Chhau Festival involve singing, dancing, drinking and hunting, which means - complete treat! The tribal people wear new clothes and indulge into merriment. People worship Lord Shiva and perform the Saivite (Shiva centric) ceremonies. They also make sacrifices of birds and animals before God. Chhau Dance, which is performed during the night, got associated to the Chaitra Parva Festival only after its introduction in the Mayurbhanj state.