Sarhul Festival– the most popular tribal festival across Jharkhand marks the beginning of the new year.
It is celebrated by the Oraon, the Munda, and the Ho tribes, of the Jharkhand region. This vibrant festival is celebrated every year in the first month of the Hindu calendar, on the third day of the moon or the fortnight of ‘Chaitra’. Not to mention that Sarhul marks the end of Spring or “Phaagun” and is celebrated till the month of June or “Jeth”.
Sarhul means ‘tree worship’. This shows that the particular tribes of Jharkhand celebrating this stupendous festival are indeed very close to Nature; the people also worship other natural elements as well!
Significance of the Sarhul festival in Jharkhand
As the festival marks the beginning of the new year, it is only after this festival that the new agricultural activities like the sowing of seeds, etc are practiced. These tribes then also start using new crops mainly paddy, leaves of the trees, flowers, and fruits. The Saal tree holds great significance in the Sharhul festival. The flowers of the same are used for the worship of the village deity. After all the rituals of the festival have been performed by the local priest, the Saal flowers and prasad are distributed among the villagers.
Things that the tribals do to celebrate the Sarhul festival!
Sarhul festival is indeed looked forward by various tribes of Jharkhand and is therefore celebrated with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. People of the various tribes drink Hadia, a locally made beer that is hand-brewed by using a mixture of rice, water, and some tree leaves. The tribal men, women, and children also dress up and wear beautiful ornaments and further sing, dance, and rejoice.
The Sarna tribe in Jharkhand celebrates this festival with great pomp and show. The men and women of the Sarna tribe dress up in colorful and traditional dresses to perform traditional dances on the popular folk tunes of the region. The traditional outfit worn by the men is called ”Karia” and women are called ”Khanria”.
The Sarhul dance indicates the true happiness of people while celebrating the traditional songs of the tribals narrating the great stories about their culture, beliefs, etc. The tribal music is played upon a traditional musical instrument, by the tribal people themselves. The native tribes called Kunjbans usually perform this tribal dance. The Kunjabhans perform this dance across Jharkhand on all important events including change of season, the advent of New Year, all religious ceremonies, birth and marriage ceremonies, etc. Not to mention that Sarhul dance and the songs played are quite popular in the entire world today.
Sarhul Festival Cuisine
The festival involves the making of distinct Sarhul cuisine. The specialty of this cuisine offered as prasad is called ‘handia’ or ‘diang’. It is made up of rice, water, and tree leaves. ‘Pahan’ is another cuisine that involves a similar union. ‘Khaddi’ is a popular night Sarhul cuisine that further compliments the cultural program. The items of non-vegetarian Sarhul cuisine include fish sukha, an exclusive preparation of dried or baked fish. Common vegetables which are a part of the Sarhul cuisine include- leafy vegetables, roots, and shoots, pulses, rice, seeds, fruits, flowers, leaves, and mushrooms. A lot of mushrooms like bhardo, bihidien, and rugda are also available during this time and hence, a festival of Nature.
When is Sarhul 2021?
Sarhul festival s celebrated in spring during the months of March-April according to the Georgian calendar.
The Sarhul 2021 date is 15th April. In the Kolhan region, the festival is known as the flower festival or ‘Baa Porob’. Sharhul 2021 is much awaited by the Oraon tribe as it’s super amazing and exciting to be a part of! Not to mention that the tribes have already started making preparations for celebrating Sarhul 2021. Few people in Odisha also celebrate this festival.
All in all, the Sarhul festival is celebrated to commemorate the beginnings of a new year that might bring prosperity and good health to all. Nature is largely praised and worshipped, and a lot of other exciting preparations make this festival super elaborate and thrilling. Hope to be a part of it someday. How about you?!