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Agaratala celebrates Gajan folk festival
Bengali community of Agaratala in Mizoram celebrated Gajan folk festival on April 13, in which hermits participated and devotees participated enthusiastically, is associated with deities like Lord Shiva, Neel and Dharmathakur, reported on my facebook with a picture. The devotees dressed like the gods and goddesses and are known as 'bohurupees' become active on this day as shown in the picture.

It is 'bohurupees' who perform on this day are mostly underprivileged and collect funds for this ritual. The state government does not support the festival and public funds are dwindling. It seems that with modernity his folk festival is going to die in near future.

Gajan festival is celebrated on Chaitra Sankranti, the last day of the Bengali calendar year. This year it fell on April 13 and thus heralding New Year on April 14. Devotees make offerings to please Lord Shiva for the fulfillment of their wishes.  At times, devotees perform rituals with human remains during the Shiva Gajan festival and some pierce their skin.

Male devotees dressed like gods and godesses dance on music with loud rhythm played on big drums supporting various rigorous physical endeavours of the dance. Often folk songs are sung in question and answer form between two devotees during many performances.

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