Baha : Santali Festival

Baha Porob : Santali Festival

Flower of 'Sal' tree.
In Santali ‘Baha’ means flower. Baha is celebrated among Santal when new flowers bloom trees specially on ‘Sal’ tree which is a sacred mark of Santas that they worships.
Baha festival has its special place in Santal Community, they celebrate it with enjoy. This festival longs three days consisting of various tradition to be followed by them. With the priest distributing Sal and Mahua flowers to both men and women, and tribals dancing to drum beats, the colorful festival of ‘Baha’ was celebrated amid traditional gaiety among Santal in month of ‘Kunami’. Please read below to get information about Baha festival that is also in major of festival of Santals.

First day – ‘Nayake Maha’ (Priest day)

In this day, Priest is the person who starts this by purifying their doors with dung then they go to the ‘Jaher than’ (holy grove) in their village and set up an abode for the deity. Later the priest offers prayers. The worshipping place for ‘Bonga - Buru’ is also washed , First night of this day the priest acknowledge their ancestor, God following ‘Marangburu, Jaherenera‘, etc.

Image of Jaherthan - a sacred worshiping place of Santals

Santal men while folk dancing at Jaherthan

Second day – ‘Serva Maha’

On the second day, the Santals once again gather at the ‘Jatherthan’ singing and dancing, and the priest after offering prayers, performs various rituals in honor of the deity and their ancestors and he gives the ‘Sal’ flowers which is distributed and all wear them. Men tuck these behind their ears while the women adorn their hair with these. Men and Women of village dance ‘ Baha enenj’ on this occasion in ‘Jaherthan’ in the music of traditional musical instrument played by the men. They also sings the ‘Baha serenj’ while they finished the some round of dancing. After this tradition dance, the priest hands over the pitcher to the bachelor boy of that village. Soon the priest heads to his home, while entering to village the all women dancing go along with the priest to respect him and it is being danced till they reach to priest house, having reached to priest house again women dance ‘Baha enej’.
While entering into village passing by all the houses, the women wash priest’s feet and he gives them Sal flowers as per tradition. Sal flowers have a special significance for the tribals.

Baha festival
Women dancing 'Baha enej' at Jaherthan

Santal Men playing traditonal instrument -Tumda and tamak

Third day – ‘Rasca day’ (Enjoying day)

Third day, Santal cheers each other with enjoying and also they have some enjoying moment with the guest came in their houses. This day, people sing the folk songs and dances cheerfully with each other. They enjoy the feast of meats and ‘Jil Pitha’ (A tasty bread of rice mixed with meat).

Santals are the nature worshiper hence this festival represents that how much they are connected and dedicated to nature

Note: The content above is for the basic introduction of Baha festival, really there are a lot more things to be shared but unfortunately we couldn’t.


  1. very nice information for all nation

    1. Johar !!..Thanks and stay in touch with us..

  2. Very informative; thank you so much !!!

  3. Sarna dharam is the best dharam of india.