Friends, in my blog, I told you various stories about so many festivals of almost every region of India. Today, I’m going to share with you about a unique festival of West Bengal; where I live.
West Bengal is famous for its rich cultural heritage and the uniqueness of its traditions. There is a festival here for every season and every occasion. Jhapan is one of the most unique festivals celebrated in West Bengal. The festival is dedicated to Goddess Mansha, believed to be the daughter of Lord Shiva, who is also considered to be the Goddess of Snakes. The western part of the state, especially Vishnupur in Bankura distict of West Bengal, celebrates this day with great enthusiasms.
Jhapan festival, which is largely of tribal origin, is celebrated in the month of Shravan (mid-August). People worship Goddess Mansha in this season, for good rainfall and enhancement of the fertility of their land. As West Bengal has an agro-based economy, the tradition is being carried out for a long time here. This celebration is considered to be auspicious for the coming harvest season.
It is believed that fair was first organized in 17th century in order to welcome King Bir Hambir Malla on his triumphant return after the battle but the trend is still practiced and celebrated with immense pleasure and joy in Vishnupur.
Jhapan means a stage set up to exhibit tricks with snakes. And that's exactly what happens at the Jhapan Mela. The festival is celebrated with local fairs and other festivities, like stage shows of local plays and snake shows by local snake charmers, called Jhampanias. Spectacular and amazing performances of snake charmers with live snakes are the major attraction of the fair. They display tricks and astonishing acts with the live, poisonous snakes on decorated open platforms. Snake Charmers bring live venomous snakes of different species in decorated cane made baskets for stunning performances like Cobras, pythons, vipers, rat snakes, kraits and flying snakes. Some of snack charmers are kissing their snacks!
Image Courtesy: https://www.google.co.in/search?q=jhapan+mela&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=wD_8U5T8Ic