Shantiniketan can easily be termed as the core of the Bengali culture as here people can enjoy everything Bengali in its truest colours. Right from people’s lifestyles to their food habits and festivals, every aspect of Shantiniketan is steeped in Bengali culture.
In order to enjoy the true beauty and traditions of the Bengali culture, many people are nowadays buying apartments in Bolpur in state-of-art residential properties like Panthaniwas. In fact, people from Kolkata who have apartments in Shantiniketan Bolpur often spend considerable time here during the festivals.
Here’s an overview of some of the unique Bengali traditions that people can re-live and enjoy in Shantiniketan.
The king of all festivities, the Poush Parbon is perhaps the most important festival that is held in Shantiniketan. Poush Parbon here is not just the humongous fair that millions of visitors come to see every year. The festivities that mark the beginning of the fair are quite deeply rooted in Tagore’s ideologies and are still followed with great devotion every year.
The prayer meeting and procession that marks the beginning of the festivities set Shantiniketan’s Poush Parbon distinctly apart from what is commonly seen in the urban metropolises. The festivities kick start with a procession around the ashram with the Vaitalik group singing songs. This is followed by a prayer meeting at Chhatimtala.
The fair which is the key attraction of the festival is marked by beautiful performances of folk music and dance along with mouth-watering food. Getting apartments in Bolpur means getting closer to these traditional festivities and the enjoyments associated with the same.
Another very popular festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Shantiniketan is the Basanta Utsav. The inclusion of nature in the festivities is what makes Shantiniketan’s Basanta Utsav so distinct. People who are lucky to have apartments in Bolpur can easily come together to celebrate the onset of spring with dance, music and colours – just like the local people do traditionally.
Along with all the song and dance that marks the festivities, students of the university also show their respect to the teachers by offering flowers and colours at their feet. This is the traditional way of showing respect to the Guru as well as to nature which adds to the uniqueness of Shantiniektan’s Basanta Utsav which is commonly known as Holi all over the country.
Commonly known as Pohela Boisakh, the Bengali New Year is celebrated beautifully in Shantiniketan. True to Shantiniketan’s traditions, the morning of Pohela Boisakh starts with a prayer meeting at the beautiful Upasana Griha which is followed by soulful renditions of Tagore’s timeless melodies. People all over Shantiniketan can be seen dressed in traditional Bengali attire and greeting each other. The festive mood that prevails in the air is absolutely contagious and can pep up the gloomiest of souls and give them new hope for the new year ahead.
Since Tagore always believed in co-existing with nature, every season is still welcomed with great love and festivities throughout Shantiniketan. To welcome the rains, there is this unique tradition of celebrating Borsha Mongol wherein people dance and sing in praise of Mother Nature and welcome the monsoons.
Popularly known as Saraswati Puja in most parts of Bengal, this festival is dedicated to the Spring season as well as the Goddess of knowledge Saraswati. On this day, little girls and boys take great care to dress up in the traditional Bengali attire and visit their respective educational institutions for the Pujas.
One unique tradition that is still an integral part of this festival is the ‘Hathe Khori’ which marks the beginning of a child’s student life. Little children are made to write the first letters of the Bengali language while the priest performs certain rituals to bless the child.
Apart from these, there is also the biggest of all Bengali festivals, the Durga Pujo which is celebrated here with great love and enthusiasm.
These festivals and traditions intrinsically bind every Bengali to Shantiniketan and give people a sense of belonging. And today, Bengalis, as well as Tagore lovers not just from Kolkata but from all over the world, are buying properties in Panthaniwas – residential apartments in Bolpur to have an opportunity to live in Tagore’s abode of peace and re-live these traditions while connecting with their roots during.