Bengalis celebrate ‘baro mase tero parbon’, thirteen major festivals in 12 months. The ‘poush parban’ is one of the thirteen festivals Bengalis celebrate. They celebrate the homecoming of ‘aman dhaan’ or winter paddy along with ‘Nolen Gur’, the sweetest sweet of Bengal, prepared by boiling date palm extract. In earlier days, ‘Poush’ month in the Bengali calendar was considered the first month.
Due to the fear of epidemic in summer, the winter paddy was considered a blessing and fortune in earlier days. They used to store the winter paddy in very low quantities for emergency seed sowing.
Nolen Gur or date palm jaggery, highly prized seasonal produce, occupies a place of pride in Bengal’s already accomplished sweet-making history. As far back as the 4th century BC, Panini wrote, ‘Gurasha auang desho goura’, which means Gour is the place of gur. It is, however, difficult to know exactly when Khejurer Gur became popular in Bengal.
On this occasion they make a pigtail by sheaf of paddy, mango leaves with some flowers and place it in front of lockers, paddy husk etc. Another major part of the festival is food, Peetha or rice cake which is mainly made with rice flour and served with jaggery. The tools and decorations keeps changing with the change of localities of Bengal but the main purpose is same and that is the worshiping the energy, positivity and fortune.‘Anandar haat’ or ‘Anandabazar’, which roughly translates to ‘the market of joy’, is a decorative way of showing the daily used tools, utensils and other daily household items. Mostly children draw alpana of tools, utensils and household items with rice powder diluted in water and put a few grains available in the granary. As the kitchen items evolved with time, now there are LPG gas cylinders, induction cooker, refrigerator have become more popular drawings than traditional oven or stove, ‘dheki’ the traditional tool used for threshing, to separate rice grains from their outer husks, while leaving the bran layer, thus producing brown rice.Along with the growing tendency of nuclear family, last two years, corona pandemic has badly hit the people globally. And then the untimely rainfall made the lives of rural people more difficult. While coping with these difficulties, the people didn’t forget to celebrate their very own Poush Parban, their roots and traditions. To take forward the traditional aspects towards upcoming generation, they celebrated the last day light of Poush taking of the shawl of infirmity.