Folk Culture & Festival
Singhbhum district or popularly known as the ‘Sonar Singhbhum’, vis. Golden Singhbhum, in the southern region of Jharkhand plateau is quite rich with its minerals as well as cultural heritage. Arid repulsive land of the repudiated villages have stored a unique folk tradition. The valleys of Subernarekha & Kharkai rivers and Dalma hill are inhabited by Proto Austroloid and mixed Dravidian communities from the time immemorial. Inherently the culture of this land consists ancient as well as aboriginal elements. Since the land has not been completely dominated or influenced by any foreign culture, it has maintained its uniqueness and identity of this dignified folk culture which is reflected through its festivals and festivities. Here almost every month or every season has its own kind of festivals and festivities and other significances. Amongst them the main are Sharhul, Chait-Ganjan, Karam, Bandna, and Makar or Tusu Parab.
The Sarhul festivals is the worship of the village deity who is supposed to be the protector of the tribes. Unless the deities of their village are pleased on them they can not be safe and prosperous. The festival is very popular for its festive mood. The whole region is highly charged with dance and song, food and drinks. It is celebrated in the spring season when the sprouting Sal gets greener and Sal trees blossoms with its flower called Shalony or Shalai . This is the symbolic flower of Sarhul. The village deities are worshipped with this flower. The Shalai is also a symbol of friendship and brotherhood which the tribal priest distribute in every house of the village. The Prasad or offering of this festival is known as Hadia or Diang, immensely popular wine made of stale rice. Men & women get absorbed in nature with gay and over whelm with joy.
The another extensively celebrated festival is Karam which is held on the 11th day of the phases of moon in Bhadra month. It is the festival of youthfulness and for the youth. The youth of villages get together in the forest. Where they dance, sing and collect fruits and flowers for the worship of the deity known as Karma Devta . At the evening, when the worship is over, dancing and singing go all through the night. The entire plateau resounds with dance of damsel, song of spirit and joy of juvenalia. It is indeed a rare example of such a vital and vibrant youth festival. At the same time, the unmarried girls celebrate the Jawa festival, which has its own kind of dance and songs. This is held mainly with an expectation of fertility and better household. The unmarried girls decorate a small basket with germinating seeds. It is believed that the worship for good germination of the grains would increase the fertility as well. The girls also offer a green melon to the deity as a symbol of ‘son’. This reveals the primitive expectation of human being, i.e grain and children.