Sohrai – The First Day
The most important festival of the Santals is called Sohrai. It is the Harvest Festival celebrated after the rice harvest in early January. The celebrations stretch over several days. The first day is Um hiloah.
Every family contributes half a kilo of rice, a young chicken, salt, turmeric powder, potatoes, firewood to prepare khichuri, a mixture of rice with dal and potatoes. They also contribute ranu, a fermenting agent like yeast to prepare rice beer. On this first day the men perform a ritual on a field outside the village to initiate the festival.
After the ritual performed by the Naike (the priest of the village) the men folk eat khichuri and drink rice beer together. Goget, the messenger later distributes the rest of the khichuri to every family on leaves of the Banyan tree. In the afternoon when the cows return home, an egg is laid on the path to the village. The owner of the cow or buffalo which stamps on the egg will gift a pot of rice beer in the forthcoming Magh Festival of the village.
Source: Santals Celebrate the Seasons published by Ashadullapur Gramin Silpa & Sastha Bidhan Kendra and Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust © 2014
Learn more about this unique project, view the entire series of photographs or order a printed copy here: Six Murals by Sanyasi Lohar and his team >
All contents are being published with an understanding that the respective copyright owners have agreed to the license terms explained in the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. This means that no commercial use or modification of such content is permissible without written consent by their respective copyright holders.
The tribal households traditionally had a backyard garden that had multiple, multilayered and multipurpose indigenous trees, plants, herbs, and shrubs,” Sanjay Patil of BAIF Development Research Foundation, an NGO that works with Adivasis in 16 states of India, told VillageSquare.in. “The produce from this small garden was sufficient to meet the dietary and nutrition needs of a family for an entire year. | Learn more about food crops that are resistant to pests, grow on poor soils, flourish under changed climatic conditions and offer high nutritive value >>
- Ashadullapur Gramin Silpa & Sastha Bidhan Kendra
- Crafts and visual arts
- Free ePub version of Santals Celebrate the Seasons (for smartphone/tablets with e-Reader installed)
- Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust
- Santal music CD and DVD by Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust
- Museum collections – India
- The Santals by Boro Baski
- Sanyasi Lohar
- Seasons and festivals
- Slideshow | Views of Santal villages near Santiniketan: Visiting the Museum of Santal Culture – West Bengal
To locate the Museum of Santal Culture in Bishnubati village (near Santiniketan) on the map seen below, open by clicking on the left button:
Tips for using interactive maps
- Toggle to normal view (from reader view) should the interactive map not be displayed by your tablet, smartphone or pc browser
- for more details (some with hyperlinks), click on the map button seen on the left top
- scroll and click on one of the markers for information of special interest
- explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>