Culture of Bhandara district, as of any other place, is reflected in the lifestyle, dress, habits and festivities that define the people. In the district of Bhandara, a mix of different faiths is found among the people. As regards the Hindus, Hindu life is replete with celebrations of all kinds. There are holidays and other religious festivals and birthday anniversaries of various deities and mythological heroes which as a rule are observed every year. Gudi Padwa, Rama Navami, Hanuman Jayanti, Ashadhi and kartiki Ekadashis, Gokulashtami, Poda, Ganesh Chaturthi, Gauripujan, Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are the main holidays which are celebrated with enthusiasm. Among Muslims Muharram, Ramzan, Id and Bakr-Id festivals and some other fairs are observed.
Men as a rule use white clothes, sometimes with a red turban that is folded. Cultivators use rough loin-cloth of strong and sturdy make. On the head they have a small piece of cloth which they call rumal. Under the head cloth men often wear little cotton caps. Women wear one long cloth secured round the waist and folded over shoulders which is called sari when it has a silk border and a lugde when it has cotton borders. Ponwar, Dhimar, and Kohli women often wear white clothes, locally called karvan. Immigrants from the north such as the Umre kalars, Bhaore Manas, Kirars and others wear the angia or breast-cloth tied behind while those of the south have the choli which is tied in front. Men hardly use any ornaments but among women they are popular. Even in this respect fashions have much changed and there is a desire to imitate people from cities like Nagpur. For Children, a number of bracelets, anklets and necklaces are used. They are of gold among well to-do and of silver among the poor.
Cultivators in Bhandara eat ambil, a gruel of boiled jovari and water for breakfast and dinner. Tamarind vinegar is mixed with this to add to its relish and it is eaten with salt, onion and chillies. For the evening meal they have bhakar or thick chapattis made of Jovari with vegetable and pulses, or besan, i.e., gram flour cooked in water with salt, chillies and onions. If a man is eating his food and he is touched by a person of any caste other than the one from which he is allowed to accept food the meal is polluted and must be thrown away.
The people generally smoke home-grown tobacco and the bidis made in Tirora are sent outside the district also. Most men smoke and a good many chew tobacco and some take it in the form of snuff. Women do not usually smoke but many of them chew tobacco.
(Last Updated on : 21-10-2014)