As the popular Bengali saying goes “Baro Mashe Tero Parban”, which means celebrating thirteen festivals in just twelve months is quite apt for festivity in West Bengal. Though, the entire state has its unique way of enjoying the festive season of winter, witnessing the grand celebration of Poush Mela at Shantiniketan is altogether a unique experience. From the live performances of Bengali folk music to dancing on the beats of Rabindra sangeet, you will be mesmerized by the incredible blending of literature, art, culture and indigenous tradition of Bengal & India.
Significance of Poush Mela
Commencing on the 7th day of the month of Poush (December) from the Bengali calendar, Poush Mela is one of the most renowned annual festivals of West Bengal. Marking the onset of Harvesting Season, this festival lasts for at least three days, but the celebration continues for the entire month. The festival becomes, even more, significant as it is celebrated at Shantiniketan, which is the hometown of the great poet Maharishi Rabindra Nath Tagore. While the festival is in its full swing, tourists from all around the world visit here to witness the cultural heritage of our country. On the inauguration day itself, the dawn is commenced by the melodious tune of Shehnai, played by the expert musicians to welcome the festive season of harvesting. The day is followed by several cultural programs and other entertaining events that are enough to keep you glued during the entire fest.
The Exhibition of Art and Craft
Since, Bengal has its own unbound heritage of rural art and craft; Poush Mela seems to be the most significant event for all artisans to showcase their hidden talent. Apart from designer cotton, jute and terracotta fabric, home décor products that are designed by local craftsmen are also exhibited in this fair. And, if you prefer natural products to give your place an ethnic touch, you will get a chance to choose from the wide variety of earthen wares, terracotta statues, jute bags and a lot more.
As we all know, Bengal has an age-old tradition of depicting their emotions through various art form like dance, music or street plays. Similarly, Poush Mela is also jam-packed with series of cultural events to keep their visitors engaged and entertained. The celebration of this fest is incomplete without taking the performance of Baul Gaan (Folk music of Bengal) or Baul singers into consideration. The atmosphere they create while singing Baul gaan and playing iktaara (a musical instrument) is not only entertaining but also quite spiritual. Apart from this, people also enjoy the Rabindra Nritya (Dancing on the beats of Tagore’s Poems) and other programs that are lined up like street plays and shehnai recitals.
The story of Bengal is incomplete without talking about the sumptuous delicacies. The festival is flooded with series of delicious Bengali cuisine to ensure with a complete package of royal service of Bengal. So, after you are tired enjoying the programs and shopping, it is the right time to head towards local food stalls. If you are a major foodie, this part of your journey will simply blow your mind as you will get a chance to have innumerable varieties of sweet dishes, fish items and a lot more.
So, if you are also planning to enjoy the onset of the beautiful season of winter in a cultural vogue, it is the time to pack your bags and head towards Shantiniketan to enjoy Poush Mela.