30 feet tall traditional torch lit during ‘Baurani’ festival for ‘Sam’ deity by Bora community in Kumoan
Pithoragarh, Nov 29
In an another special form of deity worship prevalent in Bora community of Berinag sub- division, local deity ‘Sam’, was worshiped by devotees by lighting a 30 feet long wooden torch (Mashal), this week. The festival is celebrated on the occasion of ‘Kartik Purnima’ (full moon ) day every year by the Bora community.
According to Laxman Singh Khati, a researcher on the Kuthalia community, the fair held on the occasion is known as ‘Baurani’ festival and is famous to worship local deity ‘Sam’ in a unique way.
The 30 feet long torch (Mashal), made of pieces of resinous pine wood pieces, burns whole night after it get lit at Saspora locality of Gobargada, the traditional place of its lighting since long.
“After taking it from the village to ‘Sam temple’, the torch is taken out seven times around the temple and then erected in the temple campus and lighted to give light to devotees all night,” said Deewan Singh Bora, chairperson of ‘Sam’ temple committee of Gobargada village.
Kuthali Bora community, that resides in eight villages of Chakh, Gwal, Baurai, Ram Mandir, Kamsyar villages of Berinag sub- division of Pithoragarh and some villages of bordering Almora district, is a Other Backward Caste (OBC) community and is well known for their skills in making hemp bags to store grains in the Kumaon region farming community .”The community has its unique traditions of worshiping deities, and other social customs, that are different from traditional customs of rest of Kumaoni people,” said Deewan Singh Bora.
The Kuthali Bora community members claim that they have migrated to India from western Nepal .” Besides making hemp bags, the community is also known to make stones for running by water mills and for domestic crushing of crops and cereals,” said Rajendra Singh Bora, another senior citizen from the community.
“The fair began some 150 years ago, when a daughter- in- law of Bora community saw a dream in which she was told by ‘Sam’ deity of Jhakar village that he also wants to settle in a Bora village.” Over 10,000 strong community of Kuthalia community gathers at one place on this occasion and lit a tall lamp at temple and everyone contribute to the torch(Mashal) to fulfil their wishes,” said Rajendra Singh Bora.
The Kuthali Bora community was given an OBC status by UP government in the year 2000. The fair, hitherto known as gambling fair till 2004, was freed from gambling and concentrated towards worship of local deity ‘Sam’ by youth of Bora community.
“The 30 feet long.pine torch is symbolic of lighting of a collective lamp before deity ‘Sam’ to fulfil their aspirations,” said Bora.