Charak Puja is one of the most popular local festivals celebrated at Dibruagarh, Dhubri , Nagaon and Silchar district of Assam. Charak Puja also celebrated in Southern Bangladesh, West Bengal and Tripura. It is held during the Sankranti day of Chaitra month, it is also called a calendaric festival.
Charak is performed to appease Lord Shiva and Shakti in order to gain healthy successors, wealth and prosperity, and also for the cure of diseases. The puja is considered as a semi-dramatic performance as the bearers play dramatic art.
The festival is actually a festival to satisfy “Lord Shiva”. The main participants of this ritual are defying danger and pain through several stunts meanwhile a theatrical scene is going on.
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Charak consist of two types – Chak Charak and Chila Charak. The former one is performed by turning round a Chak (wheel) which contains four edges. On the other hand, the latter is performed by tying a man with a rope or an iron hook at one end while the ‘Kerki’ turns round the man resembling a Chila (falcon). The bearers of this performance are called ‘Charkia’ or ‘Charkiyal’. The leader is known as ‘Deoboinshi’. To perform Charak Puja, there is a need of about 12 to 20 bearers.