The festival of Karma,a religious festival, calls for a huge celebration every year among the
Korba tribals of MP. On the day of worship, devotees fast from morning till the next day - a good 24 hours. A branch from the Karam tree is planted in the middle of an open ground and the night is spent singing and dancing around it.
The centre of the ritual consists in the cutting of three branches of Karam tree
(Gonds fetch branches of Kalmi or galdu tree) and their installation in the 'akhara' or dancing ground. The branches are called the 'Karam Raja'. The entry of the branches into the village is accompanied by dancing and after the installation Karam dancers revolve round the Raja through the night. The following morning the branches are garlanded and the
Karam legend is recited. Flowers are then thrown over the Raja and offerings of curd and rice are made.
Red karan baskets full of grain are also put before the branches and some ceremonially nurtured barley seedlings are distributed among the boys and girls who put the yellow blades in their hair. The blessing of
Karam Raja is then sought and the branches are taken up and carried by women through the village.
Girls of the Gond tribe celebrate Karam by carrying earthen pots with holes and oil lamps inside them, go from house to house, collecting eatables and coins. This is done in the month of
Asvina. The Korwa and Korku Adivasis celebrate this occasion after the harvest.
Karam is also associated with a variety of dances and folk songs.