FACTS | July 24, 2019:
Ker puja is a festival which is celebrated in Tripura every year in the month of July-August and is believe to bring enormous benefits to the people and the state.
The literal meaning of ‘Ker’ is ‘boundary’ or specified area from where no one is allowed to enter or come out for two and a half day during the celebration. It is believed that many years back, this puja was initiated by the Royal prince or rajas of Tripura for the welfare of the people residing in the state.
The celebration occurs two weeks after the Kharchi Puja to honor Ker, the guardian deity of Vastu Devata. It includes offerings, sacrifices, and a prescribed boundary which both safeguards people from calamities and saves them from external aggression.
A large piece of bamboo bent in a particular fashion assumes the image of Ker and is fast rotated to produce a sound. The ‘chantais’, or head priest, is regarded as the king during this particular occasion.
Participation in the puja is required for the Halam tribe. During the festival, the entrances to the capital are closed for 2-5 days and participants, including the reigning sovereign, are not allowed to wear shoes, light a fire, dance, or sing.