FESTIVALS OF BIHAR & JHARKHAND

Jharkhand has been carved out of united Bihar. Bihar and Jharkhand share many common legacies but, at the same time, both of the states differ on many counts. Bihar has been culturally and politically developed. The population is segregated into urban and rural. In contrast to that, Jharkhand is predominantly an 'aadivasi' state. Barring few cultural festivals and fairs, there are some unique festivals of the different demographic constitution. The festivals of Bihar and Jharkhand carry elements of cultural continuity.

Chhath (November): The Chhath festival is celebrated in venerations of the Sun God throughout Bihar with as much zeal, devotions and enthusiasm as Durga puja in Bengal. This is a festival of austerity and the devotees after six days of fasting and penance go to the nearest river or tank and offer Arghya (oblations) to the Sun God once at sunset and again at Sun rise. After the oblations, they break their fast by taking Prasad. Place where devotees undergo fast are kept clean and every non-devotees pass through to offer Arghya to the Sun God.

The festivals observed by the adivasis (aborigines) of Bihar & Jharkhand are:

Sarhul (March/April): This is a festival of flower. During this month, the sal flowers are brought to the saran, the place of worship. The pahon (the head of the village) properties all gods of the Mundas. The celebrations go on for several days. This festival is celebrated in the tribal district of Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Santhal Parghanas, Singhbhum etc.

Karan festival (August/September): It is celebrated for the properties of the village. The Karan sapling is brought from the Jungle by the bachelor, and planted in the villages. Then follows singing, dancing and taking of rice-beer.



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