Santals are the largest group among tribal communities. They are the inhabitants of northern and western hilly area of this district. They belong to Proto-Australoid race. This very community of Medinipur named as Santal was first quoted in the account of Walter Hamilton(1820). He told that a poor downtrodden class lived in the jungles, who were named as Santals. In some opinion, 'Santal', word came from 'Saont' or 'Samanta'. Once an area of East Medinipur was called 'Samantabhum' or 'Saont'. Probably, they are the original inhabitants of this region. They also mentioned this place 'Sant Disham' or 'Sant Desh' in their mythology. 'Santal' means inhabitant of 'Sant Desh'. Santals are mostly concentrated in Medinipur (North and South) and Jhargram sub-division. Once, it was said that there was a major number of Santal density in Midnapoore town and its surrounding places like Kuikota, Keranichati, Abashgarh, Nildanga, Karnagarh. In the period of Chuar Revolt, they were utterly tortured by the British, for which they fled away and sought their refugee in Patharkumkumi, Maupal, Pirakata and surrounding places.
Cleansing of forest, agriculture and digging works are their favourite practice. Once they were sent to Chhabis Pargana for cleansing forests. Some of them settled there permanently. Even today they left for Bardhaman, Hooghly and Nadia in paddy season and it's yielding and harvesting which is called 'namal'.
In Medinipur district, the venture for educating them was taken by American Baptist Foreign Mission. But their objective was to Baptize them as well as to give education. Rev. J. Philips acquired Santali and by his effort Santali songs and rhymes were published in Bengali script(1845). In this very year he started a school for Santals in Jaleswar.
Some missionaries contributed their efforts for educating Santals and developing their language. Rev. J. Philips, Rev. G. Kenan and Rev. L.C. Kitchen were among them. Rev. Philips wrote two valuable books, the first was 'Santali Bhasa Siksha' (1850) and second 'An Introduction to the Santali Language' (1852). In his second book, a grammar and a glossary of 5000 words is included. It was treated as the pioneer effort in this field. Then we must mention the name of George Kenan. Once a fund was created, captioning 'George Kenan Fund for Santal Literature'. Rev. Kenan was a member of Medinipur District Education Committee. He wrote the book "Primary Education among Santals of Midnapore'.
In August Movement of 1942, every person of society participated, which was a very frightening signal for British. Santals of this district took part in this movement to set free and to drive away foreign-rulers from our country. Medinipur Adibasi Mahasabha has given the leadership. In this organization, persons like Pargana Manasaram Mandi, Kalicharan Soren, Pargana Surendranath Soren, Pargana Sripati Hansda, Navin Soren, Subodh Soren, Shyamacharan Murmu were attached.
These leaders of Adibasi Mahasabha took their effort to solve the problems of their community. Guided by their advice, tribals stopped paying taxes and revenues. They attacked the excise offices and set ablaze these establishments in Silda, Binpur, Parihati, Jamboni, Dahijuri, Garbeta, Salboni, Goaltore, Ramgarh etc.
Munda means head, largely head of a village or habitation. Mundas made their settlement after cleansing off forests. ‘Patti’ means a group of villages. Even a Chief is entitled for a ‘Patti’, alike a village, he was known as ‘Manki’, Chief persons of a village are called ‘Maji’, ‘Pavani’ and ‘Govet’.
Mundas are largely found in Chandri and Maniputi of Jhargram P.S., Jelati in Sankrail P.S., in Chunapara, Narayangarh, Belda, Keshiary, Gopiballavpur-I & II and Belpahari block.
Mundas, mostly use ‘Singh’ as their surname. In every Munda village there must be an ‘akhra’(a place for assembly). Like the ‘Jaherthan’ of Santal communities, there is a place in Munda villages, walled with trees and which is called ‘Sarna’.
Mundas are mostly of agrarian society. They also absorb themselves in hunting also. But now largely they are labour class. They collect leaves from jungle and make plates, glasses and bowls. Rice and bread are their main food. As they are of hunting nature, they like meats of birds and animals. They produce ‘Kodo’ in barren lands, which is used for making ‘hanria’(indigenous liquor). They also collect various types of fruits and roots from jungle. But popular customs and rituals of Munda society are decaying day by day. Child marriage is not found in this society but pre-mature marriage occurs often. The proposal of a marriage comes first from the suitor’s end. There is a match-maker. There are some rituals before leaving for marriage. The marriage is arranged in ‘Chhadnatala’(marriage place), a sal tree and a banana plant are placed in this place with fixing a pitcher and dowry is given to the marriageable daughter, like Santals. A piece of cloth, called ‘sinai’, is stained with blood from bride and bridegroom and this is touched in their throats and necks. Then comes the phase of ‘Sindurdan’(Offering vermilion). They make marks on forehead of each other and exchange garlands. Remarriage of widow or ownerless women prevails in Munda society. Such proposals also come from suitor’s end. This type of marriage is called ‘Sanga Bapla’.
After a death in their society, the dead body is burnt in funeral pyre. Impurity days(asauch) are observed for ten days and on the eleventh day ‘sradha’ is done by ‘gosain’ or ‘ginubaba’.
Mundas are worshippers of ‘Sing Bonga’. They even divinized their ancestors. Mundas also worship Goddess – Chandi; among other deities, they worship, ‘Bura Bonga’, ‘Ikir Bonga’ and Nageyer are important. Deities of Bengali-Hindus are making entrance with their influence in Munda society.
Among their festivals, mention should be made of ‘Baha’, ‘Karam’, ‘Saharay’ and ‘Makar’. Pata-nach is very popular in Munda society.
According to scholars, Bhumij is an offshoot of Munda community. Once, they have lost their entity and acculturised Hindu customs, social and cultural gaps came between these two groups and made this gap permanent. They are concentrated in Gopiballavpur-I, Gopiballavpur-II and Binpur-II(Belpahari) blocks of Paschim Medinipur district. Once Bhumij community is habituated with those dresses of Munda, but today they wear dresses, which are found in labour class. They wore Baja, Banki and Chandrahan and such like ornaments, made of brass and copper. But today they are prone to gold and silver ornaments, even imitation, according to their capacity.
hey are of peasantry group. This society is patriarchal. They have their own panchayat(local body) and a chief, where social problems are solved or reconciliated.
There are groups like ‘Pulgu’, ‘Hembram’, ‘Patti’ and social emblems in Bhumij society. Inter-lineage marriage is a social taboo. Inter-racial marriage is treated as a punishable deed. Dowry for suitor’s is not customary, but dowry for marriageable girl is an essential practice.
Chief deity of Bhumij group is ‘Ming bonga’ and priest is called ‘Laya’. There is a custom of offering hens and goats as sacrifice. Bhumij also worship Bajut deity. They also worship ‘Gonmadhanam’, ‘Jahirburu’ and ‘Dhunkundra’ and such like deities.
Among their festivals, ‘Bandhna’, ‘Sarhul’ and ‘Karam Parab’ are worthy of mention.
Dead bodies are cremated and this is a normal custom. However, in case of death caused by pox or cholera, the corpse is thrown in a drain or pit, of a jungle.
Mahali concentrations are found in Jalpaiguri district and in Medinipur district where Mahalis are treated as a separate offshoot of Santal community. They remained separate from Santals in their professions. They are skilled in making basket, tray, bowl etc. from bamboo. Different lineages(gotra) are found in their society, such as, Hembram, Murmu, Hansda, Kisku, Besra, Tudu, Mandi, Baske, Soren, Chanre, Shyama, Gundti, Dungi etc. Their customs and organizations are akin to Santals. In their dresses and ornaments they are identical to Santals also. Women prefer tattoos and men wear ‘Sikhay’.
Like Santals, Mundas and Bhumijs, Mahalis also observe the festivals like Baha, Saharay, Karam, Dhansai, Maghnim etc. Currently they also started arranging Durgapuja. Traditionally, they observe Makar Parab and new garments are customary in this festival also.
Mahalis also worship ‘Singh Bonga’ or ‘Sun God’ and they offer goat, hen or ship as sacrifice and try to please ‘Singh Bonga’. Women also worship Dharam deity in winter season. In their place of worship, a piece of cloth is waved like a flag.
Mahalis cremate a departed person, even bury him.
Women are as skilled as male members in cottage industry though male members are dominant in these fields.
community is mostly absorbed in digging work. They are treated as a separate offshoot of Mundas. The village chief or the priest is called ‘Mahata’. He reconciliates every possible grievance and worships as priest.
When a new born baby comes in their society, the family observes a ritual of impurity(ashauch) and the purification is done as per custom of the tribal tradition. Koda community also worships several deities, but they are not idolators. They offer goose, hen, lamb and goat as sacrifice to ‘Garam Thakur’(village deity). They also worship the sylvan deity ‘Rageswar’.
Lodha concentrations are found in jungle areas of this district. And largely in Ghatal, Tamluk, Jhargram and Medinipur Sadar sub-divisions. They reside almost in 354 villages. They may be called as a hunting class. They even collect fruits, honey etc. from the forest. In some opinion, they belong to pre-Dravidian group. They become habituated with agriculture as deforestation caused demolition in their livelihood.
There are nine types of lineage in their society; these are Kotal, Mallik, Nayek, Digar, Bhukta, Paramanik, Dandapat, Ahari and Bhunia.
They also have a chief in their village and a priest, who is called Dehari. After the birth of a baby, the impurification (ashauch) phase is started and stays for 21 days. Early marriage is still well practiced in this society. Dowry is given to marriageable daughter. In marriage ceremony the soil of Sidha tree is used customarily. Maternal uncle performs the act of bestow his niece to the bride. Remarriage is acknowledged in this society.
They have no festival of their own, so they celebrate Tusu or Bandhna. Male member performs ‘Changa’ dance. Even, they arrange Jhumur and patranach. Female members sing for Tusu days, but they never take part in group dance or songs.
Among their deities, ‘Baram’ is chief.
Lodhas have faith in supernatural power and in occult methods or mantras. Dead bodies are cremated or buried. Lodhas, who reside in the adjacent areas of a jungle, very often taken a bath. Probably, they spend their day to gather foods, and there is not even a spareable dress with them.
Kherias are the descendants of primitive Kol group. They have physical similarity with them. They are totally illiterate and their language is now in an endangered status. In some respect, they look identical with Lodhas, but their lineage and religious practice is not the same.
Kherias also have some groups, such as, Pahari-Kheria, Dudh-Kheria and Dhelki-Kheria. They also have a good practice in hunting, they gather fruits, roots and leaves, honey, logs etc.
Kheria woman can be accepted as wife for a Munda suitor, but Munda girl never be married with a Kheria boy.
Among their deities, “Gurung” or Sun god is chief. Kherias believe in supernatural power and such like beliefs. They cremated a dead body, sometimes bury it.
From time immemorial, the district of Medinipur nurtured a broad mixed culture which has richly evolved over time.
Gajan gan(Songs of Gajan)
Gajan was celebrated in Chaitra sankranti(in the time of Bengali year ending). Bhaktas (devotees) are devoted to Shiva. Almost in every part of this district, Gajan is celebrated.
Tusu Gan(songs of Tusu)
Tusu festival is largely celebrated by the Kurmi, Bhumij and Bagal communities. This festival lasts for a month like the Bhadu festival. Bhadu is celebrated in Bhadra and Tusu in Paush. Tusu may be called the most popular festival of Jhargrm sub-division. Every year new songs are composed during Tusu parab. Two types of song are composed for the Tusu icon, (a) Abahan(invocation) and (b) Bisarjan(immersion). The day before Paush Sankranti is observeed sleeplessly and the next day, on Paush Sankranti, Tusu idol is immersed in water and the songs of invocation(abahan) and immersion(bisarjan) are composed and sung with due process. Between these two events, various types of songs also delivered.
This is a popular cattle festival of Santal, Munda, Koda, Bhumij and Mahata. This festival starts just after Kalipuja and stays for a fortnight. Suhana ( a molasses cake) is offered to the cattle. Gop Astami, festival of upper class Hindus, probably has its link with Bandhna. Customs of rituals of the agararian society are found in this festival. Some people opined that Goth Puja, custom of Bandhna parav was adopted in woman rituals of Hindu community. This is a sign of cultural assimilation.
Harvest festival of Jhargram sub-division. It has its link with Bandhna, Karam and Tusu festival. ‘Soharai’ means Kartik(month) which is in winter season, but now it is celebrated in Paush, specially in Santal pargana and western border of Bengal. Songs are composed during these festivals.
Muharram is very important in Islamic calendar and this grave event still observes with proper respect. Hossain was the grand son of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad, who was a brave warrior. Ezid, prince of Damascus, killed Hossain and his family in Karbala Desert by his fore in Muharram month.
Muslim communities still commensurate this dole event in Muharram month with proper honour and as a part of their observance they sing mournful songs. This type of song is called ‘Marsia’ (elegy, dirge). They bear ‘Tajas’ with them, which are of Hassan-Hossain’s tombs.
There are two types of fold dances in Medinipur. Firstly, folk dance accompanied with lyric(geet), secondly, folk dance without lyric or geet.
Kathi nach, Rumal nach, Jhumur nach, these types of naches(dances) are included in the first category and largely found in Jhargram region. Gajaner nach (sometimes with lyric), Chhau nach and Ranpa nach are of second category. Among these types of dances, Chhau dance should be given special discussion.
A special type of dance was evolved under the patronage of Bhum rulers. It’s a mask dance and group dance also, but its origin probably is age old. Chhau troops still exist in Jhargram, Belpahari and Gopiballavpur. But most renowned troops rooted in Purulia district. There is a difference between the styles of Purulia and Belphari. On the other hand, Baripda School is more akin to Gopiballavpur. Probably, the reason is once Gopiballavpur with its large portion was annexed to Mayurbhanj state. As a result, there was a deep cultural relation between Gopiballavpur and Baripada, formerly capital of Mayurbhanj. Once, royal family of Chilkigarh gave their patronage for this dance but it stood different from Purulia School.
There is another style of dance found to be practiced in Chilkigarh which is called Changu. Changu means a special type of drum instrument, covered with animal skin, played for keeping measure of a song or music.
Folk deities (Banadebi) are worshiped in Medinipur district in a large number. Some of them are very famous.
Bargabhima (Tamluk), Savitri (Jhargram), Kanakdurga (Chilkigarh), Rukmini (Silda), Sarbamangala (Garbeta), Bisalakshi (Barada), Brahmani(Narayangarh), Kapalkundala(Contai), Joychandi(Sankrail) etc. almost originated from folk base. Among these female deities we just find one male deity, call Bhima, who is worshipped only on the middle portion of this district i.e. Ghatal to Dantan. His influence is not found elsewhere of this district. Bhima is worshipped on the very day of Ekadashi in Magha. His idol is formed with straw and clay and this big idol is worshipped within a night. Bhima is treated to be a power deity and probably this ritual is rooted in ‘Banaprava” of the Mahabharata. Once Bhima married a non-Aryan woman called Hirimba and probably this habitat group still recalls this nuptial bondage by paying reverence to Bhima. Fairs are also arranged in these worship days.
In Medinipur district, there are many spheres of folk art and artistry; such as, (1) Pats (scroll painting), (2) Items made of bamboo, (3) Items made of cane, (4) Stone items, (5) Plate & bowl, made of sal leaf, (6) Gold and silver ornaments, (7) Floral ornament, (8) Handbadge(Rakhi), badge, (9) Clay model and statues, (10) Rain proof item(Pakia), made of palm leaf, (11) Cotton industry, (12) Kantha making, (13) Rope making, (14) Iron tools, (15) Dhokra art, (16) Lac art and (17) Salt industry.
Medinipur is the specialized area of pat, specially Nayagram village(Pingla P.S.) and we should also mention Basudevpur, Daspur, Narajol etc.
Pat is a scrolling picture. A long piece of paper is fixed on a stretched cotton of same size. Herbal colours are used for painting. Pictures are fictionalized frame to frame. A pat is exhibited before the rural audience with songs. It is an audio-visual representation of indigenous expression, which is very unique.
Some scholars opined that Pat is an art form, as well as artistry. In this form, we find inward features and physical features altogether.
Many types of utility goods are made especially by the Scheduled Caste communities. Both men and women are involved in this work with their skill. They can be found in every nook and corner of this district. Now they are making winnowing tray (Kula), strainer, basket, wicker basket(chupri), fish catching cages etc. Now-a-days they have started making tatty(darma) from bamboo, which are brought from North Bengal; ‘darma’ is used for partition and fencing.
Once cane furniture a practiced industry of this district and it was marketed with healthy manner. Like the bamboo, cane is also a forest born item, fine and flexible also. One, people of lower status made utility goods for the elite classes with door to door approach. They made tray, basket, flower bowl etc. But today, cane furniture like tool, table, chair, tea-table is made from cane and in big workshops. In urban areas, a few artisans of this kind are found who stay in marginal areas of a town. They are not skilled enough and they have to fight against readymade items made of polymer. Cane is not available enough in this district. It is brought from North Bengal and Assam, so it goes more valuable. As a home industry, it is suffering.
In the region of Binpur, Belpahari, Silda, Jamboni, stone works like plates, bowl, drinking glass, candle and candle stand are made from soft stone. It should be appreciated that, these artisans of marginal world still preserve their handicrafts, even in this ever changing globe. This industry is also waning to insecurity.
Plate and Bowl of Sal Leaf
In this sequence we should mention the home made plate and bowl, made of sal leaf. In near past, it was also admitted in festivals and banquet purpose. These are made especially in Jhargram, Garbeta, Goaltore, Ramgarh, as sal leaves are plentiful in this region.
Ornaments are made from several types of metal, specially silver and gold. There was once a food school of silver works in this district, especially in Contai, Ramnagar and Dantan areas.
Clay model and statues are made almost in every part of this district. But earthen posts and pitchers have come to its end and only used in worship venues and rituals. In puja or festivals season, they involve in making idols of god and goddess, which brings happiness in their family temporarily. Every prosperous village has a ‘Kumarpara’ of its own(Kumarpara means a small settlement or fixed area for clay modeller or Kumar).
They are involved in making models of elephant and horses etc. horses often offered in Pir’s tomb and in Manasa than (abode of Mansa goddess). These offered models are called ‘Chhalan’. Harimandir(holy-altar for Tulsi) is also made in teracota manner.
During the Diwali Festivals, a special type of clay model is used, which is called ‘Diwali Putul’. The women models have shirts and blouses as robes and lamps on their heads and hands. These colourful models look very bright in their lamp light.
Mat industry is located in Sabong. This place is very famous for this industry.
Mat is woven from special types of herb, alike straw or grass and this is called ‘masina’. Mat industry creates a good market in Panskura, Debra and Egra because mat is very useful and comfortable in summer days. Almost all types of men and women are involved in this industry.
Handloom industry is also important in this district, especially of Amarshi. Recently, this industry has boosted with govt. subsidy. And artisans are now facing good days. But the total handloom industry is not facing a good situation.
Pakira / Pekya
Pakhira or Pekhya is a typical system of protection from rainy season. It is made of Palm leaf. It covers a person from head to knee.
A special type of hand fan is also made by these workmen.
Kantha is made from used clothes and saris etc. But it’s stitching in very unique, which is called “Kantha-stitch’. Once this was a popular practice of Bengal and it still exists in some areas of this district. We may find some weavers of Kantha in Astapara village of Jamboni.
Rope industry of Medinipur district is very unique and existing one. Ropes are made from different sources. Firstly, a special type of rope is made of Sishal bark and used in pulling water container from well. This type of rope is made only in Medinipur district. Secondly, choir mat and ropes which are made from cocoanut. This is mostly available in Southern side of Purba Medinipur. Thirdly, a special type of rope is made of ‘babui’ grass. This is largely used as making door-mats, there is a big industry in Jhargram, who boosted local artisans in this work. This type of babui rope is also used in thatched roofs. Babui grass is mostly produced in Chandrakona and its surroundings.
Dantan is most famous for its iron articles, such as, scissor, cutlery, spade, sickle etc. This industry still exists with its prosperity.
Like Bankura, artisans of Guiadaha and Ramgarh of Chandrakona Road made these places famous of Dhokra art. Dhokra art is based on ‘lost wax’ method, a special method of casting to form different idols of god, goddess and animals. It is mostly collected as show-piece in our room. Dhokra art of Medinipur district is larger than other places in its size or formation.
Sitala Ghat is famous as a metal artisanship. ‘Ghat’ means a small pitcher. Southern portion of Medinipur district and some villages like Urigoda, Chandapur are famous for this art.
Fairs and Festivals
Medinipur district is the home of diverse communities, saints and devotees. To celebrate or observe the birthdays and departing days of eminent personalities or saints, devotional gatherings or meetings are arranged and this number would stand 730 or more. In 1906, Krishi-Shilpa Mela was arranged in Old Jail Ground of Midnapore town, where, Kshudiram, the brave patriot boy made an assault against police, as they tried to take him in their custody.
Gandhi Mela in Medinipur
To set a movement against the British rule, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the nation, came to Medinipur four times.
First time, on 20th September, 1921, he inspired the people against non-cooperation, in a gathering at College-Collegiate Ground. Second time, on 4th July, 1925, at Gope Palace, next day at Charka and Khadi Exhibition, on 5th July, he met the people in Darma maidan at Contai. On 1934, at Kharagpur, and fourth time, on 25th December to 29th December, 1945, at Mahisadal, and Sutahata on 30.12.1945, at Kokra, Irinchi, he stayed at Krishna and Contai from 31.12.46 to 02.01.46. Swadeshi Mela was arranged in these very places, where he came and stepped. Even today, Ektarpur, a place near Mahisadal, a mela (fair) is arranged still today, which starts for five days on 25th February of every year in the holy memory of Gandhiji. Thousands of Hindu and Muslims come from surrounding villages to attend this fair.
Charak Gajan Mela
Charak Gajan Melas are arranged in 17 to 18 places of this district. Among them, most age old is Jhareswar Charak Gajan Mela of Keshpur P.S. which was probably initiated 300 years ago. This mela continues for seven days. Other important fairs of this category are Kandore at Garbeta PS, Basanta Roy of Raskundu, Hajarlinga Shiva of Nayagram, Kedarkunda fair of Chapaleswar Shiva at Debra.
Rashmela is arranged in several places of this district, which are arranged on the eve of winter season.
There is a fair, which is held on Loada, under Debra P.S. It continues for two days. Rathjatra is held in the full moon day of Chaitra at Keshiary and arranged by ‘Suddha Bhakti Niketan’.
Tribal Festivals and Fairs
There are a great number of tribal deities in this district and even their festivals are very popular e.g. Karampuja, Bandhanparab(Bhimraj, Dhandevi and Ghaghra), Basini, Birinchi Thakur, Rankini, Bhairab, Banam, Jahu, Salui, Kaloray, Saharag, Kalamdadan, Banga, etc.
Among these fairs mention should be made of ‘Saraganjat Mela’ at Sarengajan near Chandrakona. To worship the Bonga deity men and women gather here and on 3rd day of Magha, they start their festival with songs, dance and instruments. This fair was initiated two hundred years ago.
In the tribal village, called ‘Betjharia’ near Garbeta-Goaltore region, a fair is arranged to observe ‘Saharay Puja’ which means reverence of dwelling place(Guhapuja). In the very day of Saharay Puja, in every house, sacrificed beast/goat is given to the ancestor and cooked meat is given to the invited guests.
Safrat festival is occurred in Paush Sankranti and Salui Puja is in Phalgun. The last one is very important, as by custom, a sal tree is worshipped to pay homage to the creator of the universe.
Bhairabsthan and Tribal Fair
The Bhairabsthan (abode of Bhairav) is in Bhairavdanga, a place in Odgoda, one and half mile from Jhargram-Silda route. There was a great influence of Bhairab Thakur in the surrounding places. Ruler of Silda was also a devotee of power-deity.
Bhairab of Silda-Odgoda is surrounded with age-old trees and enshrined on an altar with his pitcher like image(Kalas murti).
Festivals of Muslims
In Medinipur district, many fairs are arranged to celebrate or observe the Islamic festivals. Among them, Urs festival (2-4 Phalgun) in Mianbazar of Medinipur town and Masnad-e-ala(Hijli) of Khejuri-Boga are very famous.
X-Mas Fair of Medinipur Town
X-mas fair (Baradiner Mela) is arranged in the Church School Campus(Nirmal Hriday Ashram) every year, this is also very famous.
Vaisnav Festivals and Fairs
Dantamahatsav of Radhagovindajiu is held in their temple at Gopiballavpur (Jhargram sub-division). This is an age-old festival.
In every Jaisthya month, Dantamohatsav of Gopiballavpur is held, which relates to Radhagovindjiu. A fair is started for 12 days in a large space. This fair dates back to 300 years. Vaisnav devotees of Bengal and Orissa gather here. This fair is also famous for ‘Bulbul dance’. Almost 350 stalls are installed here, where agricultural tools handicrafts and utility goods made of bamboo and cane are sold. There is enough arrangements of Kirtan, Cinema, Circus and Jatra.
Folk festival, Damdama Puja and fair
On the south side of Kubai River, a 3 k.m. stretch from Chandrakona-Nayabasat, under a big Banyan tree, mother Chamunda, or better known as Ma Damdama is enshrined. She is believed to be a watchful deity. She protects people from wild animals and worshipped throughout the calendar. She is worshipped specially and on Durganabami, goat blood is offered to her.
Rajbari Chhata Parab and Fair
With the patronage of Jhargram Rajbari, on the Sukladadwasi of Bhadra, a straight sal tree is worshipped and planted and a chhata(umbrella) is fixed upon it. This tree is 50/60 feet in length, and revered by the Brahmins and then ‘chhata’ is spreaded upon it. This is called ‘Indradhwaj’. Apart from Jhargram, this ritual is also observed in Medinipur and Abasgarh.