Sarhul is a joyous and culturally significant festival that brings together communities to honor nature, express gratitude, and celebrate the arrival of spring. The festival is characterized by vivid colors, lively dances, mesmerizing music, and elaborate rituals. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the tribal communities in Jharkhand. The photo story captures the festival’s spirit, highlighting the rituals, traditions, and cultural practices of this distant and beautiful location.

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Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

Sarhul, which literally translates to “tree worship,” is a spring celebration.The festival heralds the start of the New Year and allows the tribes to show their appreciation for nature. The event begins with the veneration of trees and other natural objects. The tribes worship trees because they view them as a metaphor for life and ask for their blessings in order to be healthy and prosperous.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

The mythology and history around Sarhul are quite interesting.
One tale claims that the celebration had its start when some individuals were lost in a forest and couldn’t find their way out. They prayed for a direction to the trees and other natural forces, and amazingly, the exit was discovered. The tribes began worshipping the trees and other natural elements from that day forward as a method to convey their thanks.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

The tribe members are dance and sing around a Sal tree. One man stands out in the center, as he carries the priest, known as Pahan, on his shoulders, while they revolve around the tree. The men are dressed in traditional attire, with red and white turbans, dhotis, and kurtas. They are all smiling and laughing, their faces full of energy and excitement.

The rites and importance of Sarhul are firmly ingrained in the tribes’ culture and customs. The tribes engage in a variety of rites and ceremonies during the course of the festival’s multiple days of celebration.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

The Pahan bestows his blessings by placing a small Sal tree branch behind his right ear, and adorning his forehead and cheeks with vibrant colors, adding a touch of divinity and tradition to the Sarhul festival.

The gift of rice beer to the ancestral spirits is one of Sarhul’s most significant traditions.
The rice beer is served to the ancestors’ spirits as a mark of respect since the tribes believe that they visit them during the event.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

An old man carries a Hadiya (rice beer) on his aluminium pots. The man is dressed in traditional attire, with a white dhoti , and a turban on his head. His face is weathered and lined, revealing a lifetime of experiences and wisdom.

The cuisine of Sarhul is another significant feature. The tribes use regional ingredients to produce a variety of delicacies that are offered during the celebration. Dhuska, a deep-fried pancake of rice and lentils, and Charpa, are a couple of the most well-known dishes.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

The women perform the beautiful ritual of Lota Pani, washing and cleaning the feet of the Pahans as they return from the sacred Sarna Puja sthal, adding a touch of grace and reverence to the festival.

The veneration of the Sal tree is an integral aspect of Sarhul. The Sal tree is revered during the event because it is regarded as sacred by the tribes. The Sal tree is revered by the tribes as the home of their ancestors’ spirits, and they pray to it and make sacrifices to it in order to obtain their blessings.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

Dance and music are also popular at Sarhul. The tribes show their excitement and happiness by dancing in a variety of ways. The Jhumar, which is performed by the Munda tribe, is one of the most well-known dances. Drums and other conventional musical instruments are used to accompany the vigorous and vivacious dancing.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

I was deeply moved by the tribes’ strong bond with nature when I saw the many rites and celebrations of Sarhul. The celebration serves as a reminder that as we are all a part of nature, we should cherish and safeguard it, and I left the village with a deeper respect for our country’s charm and diversity.


Sarhul Festival By Ishan Banerjee

The Sarhul festival is a celebration of nature and its richness, and it is very important to the tribe’s of Jharkhand. The event serves as a reminder of our close relationship with nature and the value of preserving it.

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