Chitou Amavasya has an ancient tradition that is strongly associated with the land of this particular region of Orissa. A state of India that is located on the eastern coastal belt of Bay of Bengal is Orissa.
The primary occupation of this area is agriculture. Paddy is the crop grown in this region during the ancient, medieval and modern period.
According to the local legends, “Chitou Amavasya is in the primitive tradition to appease evil powers through worship; whether they are animals, serpents, inspects or plants.
People worship and pray them to avoid their wrath. ‘Pilas’ breed enormously in the paddy fields and tanks during the rainy season. Farmers while working bare-footed in the fields often get their feet cut by the sharp edge of their shells. Therefore, during the festival the piles are appeased as a female form of evil power known as ‘Gandeisuni’ (‘Genda’ is pile). The farmers girls go to the fields and while offering cakes pray Oh, Gandeisuni, be appeased and do not cut the legs of my father or brother”.
Chitou Amavasya is known as “Harali Kans” in Sambalpur areas in the state of Orissa. This festival is celebrated in a grand manner. The local people of this region strongly believe it is an auspicious day of the witch, named ‘Tandei’ who wholeheartedly moves around in the mid-night dark in order to suck the fresh blood of the children.
The local people in order to save children from her direct wrath all the mothers of this particular region draw very peculiar designs just below the children’s naval zone before the night falls and darkness decent. It is believed that these designs will scare away witch. Chakuli Pitha, a common variety of rice-cake is offered to the wild witch in order to be appeased. Later this cake is had by all in the household.