On the eve of Chaitra Purnima , Ghoda nacha , a traditional dance form is practiced in different parts of Odisha.Chaiti ghoda Nacha is a folk dance of Odisha connected with the Sakti culture of coastal regions and confined to the people of Kaibarta(fishermen) community only.This festival is observed for eight days in honor of their caste deity Vasuli Devi, the goddess possessing the head of horse.
On Chaitra Purnima a well-decorated horse head is attached to the trunk built of bamboos and beautifully decorated by sarees . A man enters through the hole kept for the purpose behind its neck. He holds the reins of the horse and dances. The horse moves forward and backward along with the man. He dances to the tune of Dhola and Mahuri accompanied by the songs composed by the local poets. The dancing party consists of two dancers, one male and one female (a male in female attire), a drummer and a piper. The Kaibarta song of Achutananda Das, (one of the poets of Pancha Sakha group flourished in the 16th century) is believed to be only religious text of the Kaibartas.
Taking the festive to a step ahead , these days the festive is celebrated in a big way like any other festival of Odisha.Other forms of dance like sandha ladhei , daskathia , ghanta dance , Djs and colorful lights are added to the procession of the Ghoda Nacha . Goddess ghoda vasulei goes to house of her disciples to offer darshan .
Image Courtesy : Subhaspada Mohapatra (Khardasahi , Jagatpur)