the important festivals of the tribal's such as Karam, Baha, Sarhul
and Sohrai are actually glaring example of that spirit.
And whatever the rituals, dance and music come naturally along with
On every occasion for that matter, they ease out singing whole-heartedly
and dancing to the beating of their indigenous tribal drum, mandar or
madal. The children of the nature get wholly merged with it during
these festivities.The seductive style emerging out of swaying by the
dancers makes it difficult for any viewer not to merge in the troupe
-so natural is its invitation and spontaneity.
Dance and music are the integral part of tribal life. They promote
fellow feeling and community living by bringing people together. Most
villages in the state have akharas, the meeting place, where the youth
both men and women, assemble almost every evening to dance to the tune
of local music and enjoy on festive occasions. These dances go on for
Sarhul is the spring festival where sale tree and leaves play an
important role. Sal flowers are brought to sarna ,their sacred place
and pahan, the tribal priest, propitiates the gods. It is believed
that the earth becomes fertile after this festival as such sowing is
The Santhals, the largest community in Jharkhand, celebrate the same
festival as the festival of flowers and call it Baha. Besides
sal,mahua flowers are also used as an important item for the rituals
Dansi and Sohrai
Sohrai of the Santhals is celebrated with grand festivity. It is
preceded by Dansi.
Dansi coincides with Durga Puja while Sohrai is celebrated immediately
after Diwali or Kali Puja.
Dansi is a dance festival, though not an elaborate ritual function. A
small ritualistic act is observed before the dance begins at akhara.
Sohrai is known for the care of domestic animals such as cows and
buffaloes. Since these animals are significani in an agricultural
society, taking proper care and welfare of them form important ritual
of Sohrai.It is celebrated immediately after diwali,on the new moon
day.In the evening, earthen lamps are lighted. The next day the cattle
are washed, vermilion mixed with oil is put on the cattle and they are
garlanded. The festivities include such games as bull fights.
Karma is another festival that has a close link with the nature. It is
observed, hoping prosperous growth of plants and yields.
Young girls celebrate this festival for the welfare of their brothers.
They decorate a sand-filled basket and some seeds of grams a few days
before the festival. This ritual is known as jawa.A cucumber is also
offered to the deity. On the day of festival, brothers bring branches
of karam tree that are placed in the courtyard. This branches,
symbolising Karma god, are worshipped by the sisters. These are
ceremoniously immersed in a local pond or river the next day. The
youth sing and dance all through the night during karma, a popular
festival of the state