today is 8th April , the day here in Jharkhand (India ) is celebrating SARHUL across various districts of it .It is One of the most popular tribal festivals celebrated across the Jharkhand region.
according to the hindu calendar, every year in the first month on the third day of the moon or the fortnight of ‘Chaitra’, Sarhul marks the advent of the spring season or “Phaagun” and is celebrated till the month of June or “Jeth”.
basically ,It is celebrated by the Oraon, the Munda and the Ho tribes, of the Jharkhand region.
actually The Oaron tribe of Jharkhand celebrates the Sarhul festival when the Saal trees get new branches leaves and flowers. The tribals use the Sal and Mahua flowers for the worship of the deities and in other rituals of the festival. The Sal tree has a great importance in the Sarhul festival.
Infact, Sarhul derived from two words ‘Sar’ or Sarai or seed of Sal tree and “Hul” or worship; literally means ‘Worship of Sal’. The Sal tree is worshipped by the people of the tribe because they believe that Goddess Sarna protects them from all natural calamities and disasters. The Oroan tribe also is a great devotee of Lord Ram and Sita. They worship Sita as Dharti Mata (Mother Nature).
how it is celebrated ?
The Saal tree and its leaves play an important role in the festival.The Saal flowers are used for the worship of the deity. During the festival the Pahan (the village priest) fasts for a couple of days. A day before the main worship and rituals of the festival the Pahan brings three new pots made of clay and fills them with water.
After bathing early in the morning, the priest wears a dhoti made of pure cotton. Then he observes the water level inside the earthen pots. A decrease in water level is predicted to be the harbinger of famine or less rain, and if the level is same it symbolises ample rain.
Before the commencement of the religious ceremonies the Pahan’s wife washes his feet and seeks his blessings. During the rituals the villagers encircle the Sarna or the worship area. Then the priest offers three young roosters of different colours, one to the God the Almighty, known to the Munda, Ho and Orsan tribes as Singbonga or Dharmesh; another to the village Gods and Goddesses; and the third to the ancestors of the tribes.
While the Pahan chants the prayers the tribal drummers continuously play the traditional drum including Dhol, Nagara and Turhi.After the Pooja the Pahan is carried to his house by the boys where he is greeted by his wife who washes his feet.
The Pahan offers the flowers of the Saal tree to his wife and the villagers and also puts the flowers on the roof of each house, which is called “PhoolKhonsi”. These flowers symbolize the brotherhood and friendship amongst villagers.
After all the rituals are over a beer made of rice, called Handia is offered as the “Prasad” of the prayers to the villager, who sing and dance and celebrate this festival with great zeal for weeks. It is believed that after this festival the earth becomes fertile and the process of sowing is started.HISTORY DATED BACK….
The history of the Sarhul festival dates back to the period of Mahabharata as per several legends of Sarhul festival.
AS When Mahabharata battle was going then the Munda tribal people helped the Kaurava army and they sacrificed their lives for it also. In the battle, there were many Munda fighters who died fighting the Pandavas. So, to recognise their corpses, their body had been covered with the leaves of Sal tree and the branches of the same tree. The bodies which where covered with the leaves and branches of the Sal tree remained safe, undistorted, while the other corpses, which were not covered by the Sal tree got distorted and rotted within short time. This depicts their faith on Sal tree which is strongly related with Sarhul festival.
TRAVEL TIME FOR VISTING HERE …………………….
Travellers across the globe visit Jharkhand to witness this colourful festival of the eastern Indian state. There is always inquisitiveness amongst them to know, when and the how is Sarhul celebrated in Jharkhand.
SO If one wants to observe the festivities of Sarhul one must visit Jharkhand in the month of March because this Sarhul festival celebrations start with the onset of spring and the blooming of flowers; music and dance being the main attraction of the festivities.