Jharkhand Being a tribal dominated state, nature has been given utmost importance in every sphere of life and culture. Branches of sacred trees are brought and ceremonially planted in the courtyards. Devotees then worship these tree parts associated with gods/goddesses. Karma puja, Jitia Puja, Sarhul are a few examples. Poush Mela or Tusu Fair is a significant occasion celebrated during the Makar Sankranti wherein brightly colored excellently decorated symbolic artifacts of folk deity are carried by the People. This is a folk harvesting festival. Tusu is a folk belief, not about any God or Goddess, but about a sweet little girl of the tribal folk. The festival takes place as new crops are harvested. The entire festival is a very colorful one. It takes the shape of the all-around festive mood of the tribal people, where everyone takes part.
On the occasion of the festival, the Boys and the Girls are given extraordinary treatment and due importance by their respective families. The families, their mother and father, give them special “Karam-clothes” to their child (or children), these clothes signify the unmarried status of the Boys and the Girls of the family.
One of the most interesting aspects of these special clothes given as gift is that these Karam-clothes are hand-woven by the mother and father for their child, after hours of hard-works. It signifies, the clothes save them from the bad influence and the habits. The Karam and these Karam-Clothes are considered very auspicious. It is also believed that the children are offered to Karam, for the showering of its constant guidance and blessings to the child, in fact the entire family.
Jharkhandis use different types of flowers as vegetables, such as the flowers of drum-stick, August and Jhirool. Use of Sag, i.e. leaves of different shrubs and other small plants, is perhaps another peculiarity of Jharkhandi food. Commonly used sags are Palak, Beng, Kataei, Gendhari, Saranti, Sunsunia, Koinar, methi, bhathua, Sarso and chana. “Maad Jhor” which a nutritious substitute for Daal is prepared by boiling saag in starch left after cooking rice. The same is made more delicious by adding flavour of Garlic fried in mustard oil (Tadka/Phodan in local language). Many vegetables and leaves are dried and stored for use out of season, and the same are consumed in the form of “Maad Jhor”. In many village markets of Jharkhand you can easliy see women selling powdered dried leaves or other dried food items.