Festivals are an important part of their life and are generally deeply connected to their religion and their culture. They celebrate many festivals during different seasons. Almost every major Hindu festival is celebrated by the community, with Christians celebrating Christmas , Good Friday and Easter.
Tusu Puja is one of the important festivals of the Tea Tribes of Assam. They worship goddess Tusu in this festival. Like other folk festivals, this festival is also celebrated very beautifully in the tea gardens of Assam.
Tusu Devi is a folk goddess of the tea tribes. Although the Hindus compare Tusu Devi with Godess Kali, Sita and Durga , yet the traditional customs and system of this puja is somewhat different from other Pujas .
According to the folk legend, Tusu was the daughter of the Kurmi king of Gujrat. The Mughal emperor of that time forced him to run away and took shelter of Punjab's king Birbal. During those days Tusu or Rukmini and Birbal's son Sitaram fall in love with each other. But, the Mughal emperor became an obstacle in their love. So, Gujrat's king ran away from there again and met the Chawtals and Bhumijs.
The king of the Bhumij made the marriage of Sitaram and Tusu happen. After a few days, Sitaram died and Tusu also killed herself by jumping into the fire of his funeral. Her story is the story of love and sacrifice . The Kurmis, the Bhumijs and the Chawtals began to worship Tusu as a pure soul. With time she was worshiped like Sati Sabitri and Sita.
During Tusu Parab , People make statues of Tusu and people decorate it with flowers very beautifully. Young boys and girls carry the statue from house to house singing her story. The young girls of the community dress traditionally and tie handkerchief on their hands and dance with the rhythm of the music and instruments. Tusu is popular among the tea tribes as a favourite goddess who symbolizes kindness, virtue, love and sacrifice .
The popular ‘KARAM ’ festival widely celebrated by this community. This is a calendar festival celebrated on the eleventh day of the moon of the month Bhado (August / September).
Karam Festival is the worship of Karam - Devta (Karam –Lord / God), the god of power, youth, and youthfulness . The Karam festival is an agricultural festival celebrated by diverse groups of people, including: the Ho, Mundari, Oraon, Kharia, Panch Pargania, Kurukh, Khortha, Korba, Santhali, Nagpuri, and Kurmali speaking people. The festival is held on the 11th day of a full moon (Purnima) of the Hindu month of Bhadro, which falls between August and September. Groups of young villagers go to the jungle and collect wood, fruits, and flowers. These are required during the puja (worship) of the Karam God. During this period, people sing and dance together in groups.
Karam is also a festival of sisterhood, friendship, and cultural unity. The festival also has a close link to nature. Tribes worship trees during this festival as they are a source of livelihood, and they pray to mother nature to keep their farmlands green and ensure a rich harvest. It is believed that the worship for good germination increases the fertility of grain crops. Karam /Karma Devta/Karam Deviis (the God of power, youth and youthfulness) is worshiped during the festival. The devotees keep a day-long fast and worship the branches of karam / kadam and sal. Girls celebrate the festival for welfare, friendship and sisterhood by exchanging a jawa flower ( The Hibiscus Flower ) .
There are multiple versions of the story behind the origin of Karam Puja. Anthropologist Hari Mohan writes that after the rituals are over, the karam story is narrated to boys and girls.