Local tribes of Jharkhand State celebrate their new year festival, called “Sarhul”, three days after the new moon in the Hindu month of Chaitra. Sarhul is a state-level public holiday and is also a celebration of the onset of spring weather.
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The Oraon, Ho, and Munda of Jharkhand keep their ancient new year’s traditions in colourful and grand style every year. The literal meaning of “Sarhul” has to do with tree-worship and the veneration of nature in general, but there are many cultural events during Sarhul as well.
Many locals will wear their traditional dress, which is very colourful and ornate. And they there is a festival of flowers called “Baa Porob”. There is the Sarhul dance, worship of the Sal Tree, and many other festive events.
There is also plenty of special Sarhul cuisine to enjoy. There is “handia”, a kind of rice dish, various vegetable dishes, and “fish sukha”, which is a specially prepared kind of dried or baked fish. There are also many fruits, leaves, seeds, mushrooms, and other items consumed, with a focus on their being the sign that spring has finally arrived.
In March or April, Jharkhand comes alive with an abundance of religious and cultural celebrations that continue for many days. This is “Sarhul”, the new year celebration of the local Sarna religion.