Different Fairs and Festivals of Purulia District
Following are the different and popular festivals of Purulia District:
Shiber Gajan Festival: Shiber Gajan is one of the popular festivals and ceremonies in Purulia that is organized in almost every villages of the Purulia district between March and May. ‘Gajan songs’ are sung for praising Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The dances include ‘Natua’, ‘Bhagta’, ‘Theatre’, ‘Nanchi’ and ‘Chhau’ accompanied by ‘Jhumur’ songs, various folk songs and dances. The dancers at times decorating themselves up as ‘Hara Parvati’ move around the village, dancing to the rhythms of instruments like ‘Dhol’, ‘Kanshi’ and ‘Flute’. At certain occasions, the whole night programs are held in the local villages during ‘Gajan’ and often continue for days.
Tusu Festival: The ‘Tusu festival’, also known as ‘Tusu Parab’ or ‘Tusu Parob’ or ‘Tusu Puja’ is an ethnic festival in rural Bengal. It is celebrated in the district of Purulia. The key features of the complete one month of celebrations are the ‘Tusu’ songs which are folk music, the food and the fair. It ends on ‘Makar Sankranti’, with the interest of ‘Tusu’ structures.
Disum Sendra Festival: ‘Disum Sendra’ is another popular festival which has its etymological origin in the ‘Disum Sendra’ or ‘Shikar Parab’ which is celebrated every year during the months of April and May as the full moon comes from beneath the veil of clouds a hunting festival is held at the ‘Ayodhya Hills’. The local tribal are of the notion that those young boys attain adulthood during this fair. The local brew (Mahul juice) is drunk and the beat of drums play as groups of young men set out on their hunting adventure.
Rohini Festival: This festival in Purulia is celebrated by cultivators. Every year on 13th Jaistha, the cultivators sow seeds and commemorate this ‘Rohini Utsav’.
Dharma Thakurer Puja: ‘Dharma Thakurer Puja’ is held every year from 15th April to 15th May. ‘Dharma thakur’ is a Hindu God who is worshipped by the rustics in the traditional ‘Rarh’ region as one of the chief village gods. ‘Dharma thakur’ is venerated mainly by castes including ‘Bauri’, ‘Bagdi’, ‘Hari’ and ‘Dom’. He is the all-powerful of the tribes who is generally represented by a shapeless stone daubed with streaks of vermillion and is normally placed under a tree or in the open or sometimes enshrined in a temple.
Bandhna Parab Festival: ‘Bandhna Parab’ is also a local festival in Purulia which is held each year after the ‘Kali Puja’. This festival is renowned among the ‘Kurmi’, ‘Bhumij’, ‘Korha’, ‘Lodha’ communities.
The Sun Festival: The Sun Festival is popularly known as ‘Poush Sankranti’ named after the Bengali month in which it falls, is celebrated as a harvest festival ‘Poush Parbon’ and the festival has gained its entry even in the in-house of the middle class. Varieties of traditional Bengali sweets are made with rice flour, coconut and milk. All the sections of society participate in a three-day festive journey that begins on the day before ‘Sankranti’ and ends on the day after. Traditionally, people were required to take a bath before sunrise and then the Sun God is worshipped by the people. The food that is consumed consists primarily of sweet potatoes and various yams.
Raas Mela Festival: ‘Raas Utsav’ or ‘Raas Mela’ is celebrated in numerous parts of West Bengal and Purulia district is one of them. ‘Raas mela’ is celebrated mostly in Purulia town in Purulia district in ‘Agrahayan Purnima’.
Manasa Puja: ‘Manasa Puja’ is one of the predominating seasonal festivals of Purulia. Once the harvesting season comes to an end, people get busy with preparation of ‘Manasa Puja’ (Goddess of Snakes) on 15th or 16th of August (last day of Shraban in the Bengali calendar). The worship ends with offerings of ducks, goats and lambs that are sacrificed to the Goddess. In some areas the worship continues until the beginning of Durga Puja. ‘Jaant’, ‘Jhapan’ and other folk songs and dance are organized during this festival.
Chhata Parab Festival: It is celebrated in mid of September. Thousands of ‘Santhals’ from Purulia as well as from surrounding districts attend this fair, which starts with the raising of a white umbrella on a long pole by a representative of the ‘Panchakot Royal family’. Songs and several types of dance including ‘Naachni and Pata’ are performed throughout the night.
Bhadu Puja Festival: It is held from mid August to mid September. It is a very common festival of the villagers of Purulia. People believe that worshipping ‘Bhadu Devi’ enables childless women to bear children and for this belief the women sing ‘Bhadu’ songs and worship.
Karam Parab Festival: It is celebrated with ‘Jaowa’ from mid August to mid September. This festival marks the beginning of performances of ‘Bhaduria Jhumur’ accompanied by ‘Pata’ Dance. During this festival, the ‘Jaowa’ is prepared by sowing the seeds of crops in the basket and when the saplings emerge turmeric water is poured on them. During day time the baskets are kept in a dark room so that the saplings do not turn green. In the evening the baskets are brought out into the open and young girls sing and dance entwining arms around them.
Palash Parban Festival: It is a festival held every year during Holi on the bank of ‘Kansai River’ at ‘Deulghata’, Purulia. It's a three day festival organized by villagers. Various artists and dancers perform during this festival. In 2013 the festival was organized by the Edge of India Purulia Co-operative.
Akhan Jatra Festival: ‘Akhan Jatra’ is considered as a positive day in Purulia which falls on the first day of ‘Magh’ month according to Bengali calendar.
Chandi Puja Festival: ‘Chandi Puja’ is celebrated in the month of ‘Magh’ according to Bengali calendar.
Magh Sim Festival: It is a famous festival of ‘Santhals’ which is held every year in the month of ‘Magh’ according to Bengali calendar.
Baha Festival: ‘Baha’ is a spring festival to ‘Santhals’ in Purulia. Night long dance and songs are associated with this festival. The same festival of ‘Mundas’ is known as ‘Sarjan Baha’.
Other festivals include Durga Puja (October), Kali Puja (November), Saraswati Puja (February), Raas Mela (last week of November), Viswakarma Puja (September), Basanti Puja (last week of March).