The Baha Parab “flower festival” of the Santals: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal



The Baha Parab is the Flower Festival of the Santals, celebrated in the beginning of spring. The ritual observed revolves around man’s communion with nature and the celebration of beauty. The Naike (Santal priest) and other villagers offer a Sal flower to every family of the village. A Santal woman receives flowers in the folds of her sari from the priest after she has ceremonially applied oil on his feet and then washed them. An unmarried man carries the water on his shoulder and, after exchanging greetings with her, sprinkles it on the woman. During the festival the women stick some flowers into their hair and the men behind their ears. The rest of the flowers are kept in the ceiling of their thatched or tiled roof.

Source: Santals Celebrate the Seasons published by 
Ashadullapur Gramin Silpa & Sastha Bidhan Kendra 
Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust © 

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 >

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