Karma Puja, one of the most popular festivals of Jharkhand is related to the harvest and a tribute to the Karam tree. This tree symbolises fertility, prosperity and everything that is auspicious. During the festival, the branch of the Karam tree is carried by the Karma dancers accompanied by singing and dancing. Smeared with milk and rice beer, this branch is raised in the middle of the spot where the group performs dance. The festival is vibrant, interesting and a lovely sight.
A very interesting story is associated with this festival – it is the story of Karam Rani:
Long ago in a village, there lived seven brothers who worked so hard in their agricultural field that they don’t even ha time for lunch, due to which their wives used to carry their lunches everyday to the field. One day it so happened that their wives didn’t went to the field with their lunches. Working hard the whole day without food when the brothers returned home in the evening,they found their wives dancing and singing around the Karam tree forgetting about their duty towards their husbands, they roared out in anger and lost their temper and ripped the branch and threw it into the river.
After this incident, hardship fell on their whole family; their economical condition worsened day by day as the Karam deity was insulted. They called upon the village priest and took suggestions from him on how to improve their lives and as per the priest instructed; they searched for the deity and finally brought her home with utmost respect and devotion and worshipped her and sought her blessings. Slowly and gradually their economic condition was improved.
Karam Rani story is believed and religiously the message is followed by the people of Jharkhand.