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eISSN: 2582-0427

FESTIVALS OF THE SANTHAL OF BENGAL AND NATURE: A DISCUSSION

Abstract: The social unity of Santhal in Bengal is very strong and durable. They observe their festivals though there are many difficulties, calamities and troubles in their lives and livelihoods. Though the interest to celebrate the festivals is decreasing now yet they have tried to hold on to their customs, cultures- the main string of social unity through celebrating of their festivals. Nature and environment play an important role in these festivals. It has been tried to enlighten the festivals of these people and how they are related to nature and environment with their present degradation. The major festivals of this ethnic group of people are Anreo, Dasai, Saharay, Sakrat, Baha and others. All the festivals are celebrated according to needs of nature and environment.. But now a day’s there is acute crises of nature and environment due to many reasons. The social life of Santhals in rural areas has deteriorated due to not caring of nature. Warning signals are there for the upcoming bigger disaster facing our society. But now a days there is a large scale destruction of nature and environment due to many reasons. Global warming has caused increase in the level of temperature and deficiency of rains. West Bengal is not any exception to this. Our Bengal is full of green fields and perennial rivers and ponds with rain-water all over the year. But the temperature has been increasing gradually over the past few decades. The number of days of winter has also come down. Continuous high temperatures are not there except for three months and there is also the scarcity of rains. It is musty hot during the rains. This increase in level of temperature is very harmful for our earth. The green fields, trees, forests, bushes all will dry up if it continues. This calamity will also bring ruin to human beings and wild animals. The Santhals of Bengal will break away from their social lives as they once were very much close to nature and forests and this will also lead to greater destruction of society at large.

Keywords: Bengal, Santhal, Environment, Nature, Festival, Anreo, Dasai, Saharay, Sakrat, Baha

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