Sarhul is observed at the spring time when the tribes appease the village gods and sought their protection and safety. Flower Sarhul is given as offerings; it also symbolizes friendship and brotherhood .The tribal priest disperses these flowers to every village household.
Banda is a popular festival held during 'Kartik Amavashya'. Animals are worshipped acknowledging their contributions to the society and also to pacify their destructive quality. The songs of this festival are popular as Ohira.
Tusu is observed as the common festival celebrating harvest time during winter season in the last day of the month of 'Poush'. Rites and customs related to this festival are diligently maintained by the locales.
Held on the first day of the month of 'Magha', Hal Punhya is a winter festival celebrating the starting of ploughing. The day also symbolizes time to accumulate good luck and fate Rohin is probably the foremost folk festival. It symbolizes the growth of the sowing seeds in the landing field. No dance or song is composed for this festive occasion. Another festival popular among the tribes is Bhagta Parab, the festival for the devotees. Here the tribes worship 'Budha Baba' and it is celebrated in the end of spring or in the beginning of summer season.
Music and Dance of Jharkhand
Folk music and dance are part and parcel of the culture of Jharkhand. Simple and humdrum populace of tribal communities is infested with various social problems and difficulties which find an expression in their 'desi' music styles. 'Jhumar' has been derived from the word 'Jhum' which means to sway. Although the content of these songs is diverse, they are commonly based on the theme of love and romance. Akhariya Domkach, Dohari Domkach, Janani Jhumar Dance, Mardana Jhumar, Faguwa, Udasi, Pawas, Daidhara, Pahilsanjha, Adhratiya, Vinsariya, Pratkali, Jhumta etc are some folk music. These are often sung in accompaniment of musical instruments like Singa, Bansuri, Arbansi, and Sahnai. Rungtu Ghasi Ram, Ghasi Mahant are some eminent musicians who emerged from this Indian state.
Folk dance forms too bear the proof of the culture of Jharkhand. Paika Dance, Chaw, Jadur, Karma, Nachni, Natua, Agni, Choukara, Santhal, Jamda, Ghatwari, Matha, Sohrai, Lurisayro etc. Paika is a form of martial dance popular among the paikas Jharkhand region. They practice this dance in 'paika akh-adas' of their villages, Joy , fun, amusement are integral part of the tribal dancing of Jharkhand .
Cuisine of Jharkhand
We cannot know the culture of Jharkhand without throwing some light of the cuisine of the region. Due to the wide prevalence of Buddhism and its religious practices among the Jharkhandis , the preference of vegetarian foods is inevitable. Staple foods of the people of Jharkhand are wheat and rice. Primarily mustard oil is used as a medium of cooking. The region is nutrified by the ample growth of different types of Vegetables. These, again, are being cooked in varied ways by the Jharkahndis. A regular meal comprises of dal, rice, phulka (roti), tarkari (sabzi) and achar (pickles). Each season brings with it the growing of various fruits and vegetables and it is the Jharkhandis who rightly have incorporated these seasons' gifts in open hands.
Prominent characteristic element of Bihari cuisine is their 'chhonkna' (tadka) with 'panchforan' (a mix of five seeds - saunf, sarson, methi, ajwain and mangraila). The people of Jharkhand have developed the habit of frying the food. Spices and coloring are added to the dishes of Jharkahndi cuisine.
Sattu or powered gram is favourite eatable for Jharkhandis. Til Barfi, Litti, Aloo Choka are also savored by the Jharkhandis with great delight. Various people scattered over the region have their own styles of food habits that differ in various regions of the state. The cooking method of tribes is quite different from the rest of the populace. Mahua flour, maize, millets and edible roots and tubers are the main components of tribal meal in Jharkhand.
Lifestyle of Jharkhand
Lifestyle of the people of Jharkhand is a must if we want to discuss about the culture of Jharkhand. It is a residence of 32 archaic tribes. Santhal Tribe, Asur Tribe, Banjara Tribe, Munda Tribe, Korwa Tribe are few among them. Hindi and English are chief languages; Urdu Language and Bengali Language and tribal languages like Santhali Language, Munda Language, Kurukh Language too are widely spoken. Jharkhandis arduously practice religions like Jainism, Hinduism and Christianity.
Moreover, the tribes of Jharkhand have their unique spiritual notions called Sarna Parasnath, Baidyanath Dham complex of Deoghar are some important consecrated places in Jharkhand. Naturally the myriads of religious pilgrims frequent these places thereby leading to the construction of big hotels in the region.
Crafts of Jharkhand
Folk spirit defines the unique features of culture of Jharkhand and what else can denote it than the art and crafts of Jharkhand. Woodcrafts of Jharkhand are popular and various items like panels for doors, windows, wooden spoons have demands in the national market. Bamboo crafts made from a special thin and strong bamboo trees are popular in household décor. The folk artists of Jharkhand are expert in paitkar paintings. Masks too are made by the expert hands representing moral elemental passions, better known as tamasik. Special types of toys of abstract features are popular; these are wood chips painted to resemble like human chassis with angulated lines and no disjoined limbs.
Costumes of Jharkhand
Panchi and Parhan is a traditional attire of the women of Jharkhand. The lower garment being Panchi and upper is Parhan. Jharkhand popularly known as, Vanachal (the land of woods) is well-cultured with a dynamic heritage of textiles and fabric. The silk sarees are endowed with a lustrous texture, and often with traditional paintings or print, demonstrating tribal dances, and tribal festivals, i.e. various nuances of tribal life. Recently, the newly launched Anjana and Swarnarekha silks of Jharkhand are ruling the market. Fashion-conscious women are flaunting themselves in this new innovation, respecting ethnicity.
The tribe-centric culture of Jharkhand has exhibited its preference for plain but elegant accessories. Gold, silver and beads ornaments are indeed aesthetic and hence, eye-captivating. The local women beautify themselves with the help of these ethnic and artistic costumes of Jharkhand.
Men maintain their decency with only one piece of cloth, called Bhagwan. The major tribes of Santhal Pargana, for instance the Paharis and the Santhals follow a dress-code, unique in appearance. Side by side with the tribals, live the non-tribal people. These people envelop themselves in the traditional costume of Jharkhand that are dhoti, kurta- pajama and shirts.
Men in ceremonies, dress-up themselves in better quality and attractive-looking kurta, pajama and sherwani. Ethnic costumes of Jharkhand are also marvelous for both men and women.
Language of Jharkhand
Jharkhand is home to a number of languages belonging to three major language families. Indo-Aryan languages include Angika, Bhojpuri, Khortha, Nagpuri, Sadri, Hindi, Urdu, Oriya and Bengali. Jharkhand is also home to the Munda languages, Kurmali, Korku, Santhali, Mundari, Bhumij, Kharia and Ho, and the Dravidian languages Korwa, Oraon(Kurukh) and Paharia (Malto). Santhali, Mundari, Kurukh, Khortha, Nagpuria, Sadri, Khariya, Panchparagnia, Ho, Malto, Karmali, Hindi, Urdu, Bangla etc. are the most common languages. In whole of Santhal Parganas area Angika is the primary language for communication.
Literature of Jharkhand
Santhali script is called Ol Chiki. This script was invented by Pandit Raghunath Murmu in 1925. Raghunath Murmu is popularly known as Guru Gomke among the Santals, a title awarded to him by the Mayurbhanj Adibasi."Darege Dhan","Sidhu-Kanhu", "Bidu Chandan" and "Kherwal Bir" are among the most acclaimed of his works. There is rarely any contribution in literature from other tribal languages.
The culture of Jharkhand traces the tradition of the tribal society of Indian society, also remaining unperturbed by the trends of modernization. Rather it asserts its originality and ethnicity and continues to do so. Music, dance, lifestyle, art are the torchbearers of this trend of the cultural tradition.