Srikakulam: Narasannapeta mandal, a village which is 25 km away from the district headquarters is organizing traditional celebration Peerla Utsavam what they believed to be a Muslim festival.
According to the Indian Express, A century ago, a custom that 17 Muslim families from the village started the celebrations for 12 days every year, after the amavasya it begins from the third day.
Appayya, an octogenarian from the village says, “It’s not that we do not celebrate Dasara. But Peerla Utsavam gets more priority. Our forebearers have been celebrating it for almost a century.”
Constantly the Muslims immigrated to other parts in the region, though Hindus carry the legacy, “There is no Muslim family in the village now. But, we celebrate the festival with pomp and gaiety. It’s a tradition for us than a festival. We strongly believe that Allah will ward off our problems,” he says.
Nevertheless, this year Dasara is simultaneously with Muharram, for Peerla Utsavams the villagers are more engaged in the arrangements. Residents contribute for the festival at a one-room dargah. A Muslim priest from the nearby village is called up to perform the rituals.
Holy sticks wrapped in decorative fabrics and peacock feathers are used for worship. The rituals are a perfect combination of Hindu and Islamic traditions. On the seventh day of Muharram, huge processions are taken out and the devout carrying pots filled with holy turmeric water walk on fire.
The present dargah, built 40 years ago, is in a dilapidated condition and the villagers are trying to renovate it with the donations from the residents.
Chittibabu, a member the village dargah committee says, “We have brought back the Muslim priest who had shifted to the nearby town a few years ago so that the daily rituals at the dargah are performed.”
“Around, 20,000 people take part in the festival every year,” adds Chittibabu, during the celebrations, all the relatives of the villagers are invited and served delicious food.