Ras-Nawa is a particular festival of the Baigas of Mandla district. Ras-Nawa means ceremonial eating of honey. The festival falls once in every nine years. The Baigas associate this festival to their legendary ancestor
The shrubs called Mohati and Anhera are the favourites of the bees as they get ample honey out of their flowers. Once a drop of honey fell to the ground, Nanga
Baiga dipped his finger and tasted the substance. No quicker he did this, all the bees transformed into tigers.
Nanga Baiga ran for his life and when he reached his house he found it filled with bees. He was unable to shift either inside the house or outside. He promised to make offering every nine years.
It is supposed that preceding this festival many deaths arise and therefore among the
Baigas a taboo is observed not to eat honey before the festival. On the festival day the
Baigas go to the forest to get honey. On their come back to the village a festal booth is built for the
Mohati and Anhera shrubs. They are now taken as wife and husband. Near the festal booth millet is prepared by 'Shaman', the witch doctor, in gourds and when it is ready honey is poured into the vessels. It is scattered to all those who attend the ceremony. During the merriment boys take their chances to smear the faces of the girls with honey.