Dang Darbar Fair
One of the major tribal festivals of the Dang area; Dang Darbar Fair is held in the month of March every year. The Dang area is located in the Saputara Hills and is surrounded by lush green forest. DangsDarbar is a three-day annual cultural extravaganza coinciding with the Holi festivities. A conspicuous festival of Dang tribe, inhabitants of wooded region Saputara, the Dang Darbar is celebrated just few days before Holi. The exact venue of this festival is Ahwa near Saputara but the festival has drawn its name from the AhwaDarbar, a one–time venue assembly (Darbar) venue for English ministers and mandarins during the Raj era. Now, the name has been changed to Jamabandi Durbar and the District Collector officiates at it.
A large number of tribal inhabitants and visitors come to attend one of the most colourful and attractive festivals of the Dangs during this festival. The sight transforms to bright and gung ho from dry and serene. A galore of men and women attired in riots of colour are seen agog with festivities during the Darbar. Nomad tribes carry a shehnai (wood-wind instrument) and other musical instruments with them.
All men wear lion clothes which are complimented with a waistcoat and coloured turban. Women are robed in saree and blouses with heavy silver jewellery. The carnival ground can be seen abuzz with activities and merchants who come to sell their products. Dang Darbar, a three day festival, witnesses many activities like folk dances, Raas, Garba programs, songs and dramas. It also provides a platform to search for brides and grooms.
An exhibition of local culture, tribal development schemes and forest environment is inaugurated on the occasion during the festival. During the festival, the customs instituted earlier still continues – to provide pensions to the Tribals (Daher, Gadhvi, Linga, Pimpri and Vasurna were awarded pensions in 2009). Various other schemes are implemented like the 'Malki Plantation' scheme in which tribals grow teakwood and other forest products in their land, for which are paid by Govt under the scheme. Another scheme, 'MafiKaat' - about 225 tribals were provided with teakwood worth Rs 22.5 million free of cost to build and repair their own houses.
Dang Darbar is the perfect place to witness the lifestyle and cultural life of the native tribal people. The fair is started by the tribal chief who blesses the fair.
Tribal dances of the region are spectacular to watch. People move in concentric circles holding each other by the waist, dancing to the beat of percussion and wind instruments. Many musical instruments are typical of this district. All men wear lion clothes with a waistcoat and coloured turban. Women wear sarees and blouses with heavy silver jewellery.