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 Jharkhand Festivals: The Jharkhand Effect  

The varied festivals of Jharkhand marks the 28th state of the Indian subcontinent as a spiritual canvas of soul stirring celebration. This state astonishingly combines antiquity and plenty. So the festive celebrations in the state of Jharkhand are marked with great ebullience and traditional ardor. Festivals in this state make for unrestrained jollification. Jharkhand participates in almost all the festivals taking place in the country. The festivals celebrated in Jharkhand embody the robust and composite cultural heritage of our nation. Various communities of the Indian subcontinent celebrate as many as forty festivals with complete communal concordance.

The tribal festivals in the state of Jharkhand also have their share of exuberance and excitement. The chief tribal festivals of Jharkhand are:

The festival of Karma, also known to be a religious festival, calls for huge celebration among the tribals of Jharkhand. On the day of this festival devotees keep fast of complete 24 hours. The cultural performances are observed keeping a branch of a Sal tree in the middle of an open ground.


The Sohrai festival is a popular and much-awaited festival of the tribes of Jharkhand. It is associated with the cattle and is celebrated during the festival of Diwali, which falls in the month of November. During the festive celebrations the cattle are washed and worshipped. This is a time for great amusement and performances of cattle such as bullfights are organized to multiply the fun and excitement.

This is the main festival of the tribal population of Jharkhand. The verbal meaning of Sarhul is worship of the Sal tree. Sarhul can also be redefined as worship of nature in which local people worship Sita, the wife of Lord Rama as `Dhartimata`. They also worship the Sal tree, which is believed as the abode of Goddess Sarna who protects the village from all kinds of natural calamities and disasters.

The most important festival of the Hindus are:

One of the most important festivals of Jharkhand is the Holi. The spring festival of Holi is celebrated in Dhanbad in the month of Phalgun or in the months of February/March according to the English calendar and seems to have a universal appeal. The festival of Holi is celebrated with great charm and vigor in the state of Jharkhand. The legend of Holika is very much prevalent here. The lighting of bonfire also forms a special feature of the Holi celebrations in Dhanbad. Fun and frolic is also redefined in various forms in the festive celebrations here. People greet each other with colors and thus enhance the feeling of harmony due to which happiness prevails. The tradition of playing Holi with mud is also extremely delightful.

Another prominent festivals of Jharkhand is the Diwali. The people of Jharkhand indulge themselves in the celebration of Diwali with much exuberance. The celebration of Diwali in the state of Jharkhand starts two days before the actual Diwali, celebrated in honor of Dhanvantari also known as the physician of Gods. The day just before the actual Diwali is known as `Choti Diwali` or `Small Diwali`. Songs in honor of the deities, the performance of `Arti`, lighting of lights or oil/ghee diyas, bursting of crackers characterize the festival of Diwali. Tiny footprints of the Goddess of Wealth, Mother Lakshmi are a special feature of the Rangolis designed for this auspicious ceremonial occasion. The tribal people of the state worship Goddess Kali on this day.

This religious Hindu festival is celebrated in the whole country along with the state of Jharkand with equal amount of pomp and show. This auspicious day is observed to mark the birth of Lord Rama. The people of Jharkhand celebrate this sacred festival by observing fasts and observing prayers in his honor. In the state of Jharkhand early morning rituals marks this sacred ceremony. During this festival the people of Jharkhand sing and chant the name of Lord Rama. The devotees indeed have a highly colorful ceremony to mark the beginning of the wedding celebrations.

Dussehra, one of the much-awaited festivals of Jharkhand. It is a ten days event in total. It demands the participation of the rich and the poor alike. The festival is marked in the state by the worship of Goddess Durga, the incarnation of the cosmic energy. Ramlila also forms a major part of the Dussehra celebrations in this state. The victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana is celebrated in this state by visiting the temples and chanting verses from the great epic Ramayana. Huge effigies of the demon king Ravana are dressed in colorful outfits and then set onto fire.

Basant Panchami

Another well known festivals of Jharkhand is the Basant Panchami. This festival is celebrated in Jharkhand with as much pomp and fervor as that of the whole country. In this state Basant Panchami is celebrated to welcome the season of spring after the dead and decay of the winter season. People of this state take this festival to be full of religious, seasonal and social significance. The locals celebrate this joyous festival with much ebullience and the main attraction of this festival is kite flying.

Chhath Puja
The `Sun-God` is worshipped by almost all civilizations but adopts a unique form in the state of Jharkhand. Chhath Puja is reckoned as one of the most important festivals of Jharkhand.. During this festival the setting Sun is worshipped with utmost sincerity and devotion. The inhabitants of the state have immense faith on this auspicious festival, which is celebrated two times a year once in the month of Chaitra or March, and the other time in which it is celebrated is the month of Kartik, which falls in the month of November. The harmonious melody of the lyrics chanted during this festival lets one immerse in the sanctity and the purity of this auspicious occasion. Besides the Hindus, some of the Muslims also actively participate in the holy ceremony. If we opt for redefining this festival then we can say that it is an expression of seeking blessings from the forces of the nature, thus representing the amalgamation of the Vedic and non-Aryan religion.

Jityya Bhaiya Dooj
Jitya Bhaiya Dooj one of the prominent festivals of Jharkhand is celebrated in the state of Jharkhand with as much exuberance as in the other states. It is a festival purely dedicated to the love and affection between brothers and sisters. Brothers bless their sisters and also promises to protect them from all hardships. The celebration of Bhaiya Dooj in this state can be redefined as a bond that speaks of sensitivity and timeless relationship.

The Muslim festivals in Jharkhand are celebrated with equal pomp and show and all the communities take the same interest in these festive celebrations as well. The chief Muslim festivals in Jharkhand are the Muharram, the two Ids, and Shah-I-Bharat.

This festival occurs at the end of the month of Ramzan, is the gayest and falls on the first day of the tenth month of the Hijrah or Muslim calendar. This festival is celebrated in Dhanbad with great pomp and show.

This festival popularly known as Bakri-Id or Eid-ul-Adha or Eid-Ul-Zuha is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. It is observed on the tenth day of the twelfth month in the Muslim calendar. The holiness of the day and the period preceding it makes this a popular time for undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The most solemn and colorful Muslim function held in the state of Jharkhand is Muharram. This festival commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet. In all cities and towns Muslims take out impressive processions of colorfully decorated tazias, replicas of the martyr's tomb at Karbala. In this state also Muharram is observed by taking out gold and silver replicas of old Nawabi times and men are seen beating their breasts in mourning constantly until blood oozes out.


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