What is Gram Thakur puja in Rajbanshi community ?
One day, I was going on my way and suddenly noticed some small replicas of home in a corner of a playground. I asked some local people and got to know that those small replicas are made in the name of Gods. I find the entire matter quite interesting and that’s why decided to share with you.
In India you can find various languages and cultures. Rajbanshi is one of those unique cultures. Though I have seen many people from this community, I did not aware about this at all.
In every year during the month of Sravan ( June and July) Rajbanshi people celebrate Gram Thakur (Village God) puja. They select a holy day in the month of Sravan and on that particular day, every single villagers participate in the puja. Like other religious festivals, Rajbanshies are also keep fast and wear new clothes on the puja day.
Gram Thakur puja is a puja of 64 Gods at a time. Villagers pray to god for the wellness of their village. On the day of Puja, they call one Brahmin and one Poali (a person with a special status in the village). Poali gives each home replica in the name of a God. Like this, each God will get a home replica. The Brahmin does the entire puja ritual.
The puja ritual is very simple and when the puja is over villagers enjoy their day with different programmes and games including their popular bamboo game.
This puja takes place once in a year in every Rajbanshi village. With this, you can notice many other unique rituals of this community too. I know that you are eager to know where do they live??
You can find them in the northern part of West Bengal specially Cooch Behar district, Assam, Meghalaya and some part of Bihar too.
The Government of West Bengal has already taken some initiatives to highlight Rajbanshi bamboo game. Government is organizing several cultural programmes in different cities, where Rajbanshi performers can showcase their traditional game.