Traditions & Practices

Traditions & Practices
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Bakula Amabasya

Bakula Amavasya, popularly known as Vakula Amavasi, is observed during the month of December and January in Orissa. The festival is primarily dedicated to the mango trees, as this is the season of the mango blossoms. The new fruits are called baula in Oriya. Special food is prepared on this day and offered in temples as well as to the mango trees. The ritual is performed to invoke a rich mango harvest during the season.

Bada Osa

A festival of fasting called the Bada Osa is observed in every Hindu Oriya family during the month of November. It is primarily celebrated at Dhabaleswar temple in Cuttack district. The Lord is worshipped with the offering of bhoga (i.e. prasad) named gajabhoga (a sweet made of milk derivatives) and attakali (a local sweet dish made with flour) followed by the Bada Singhara Besha which is considered a most pious occasion by the devotees. These rituals hark back to the story of Lord Indra who took a holy dip here on full moon day in the month of Kartika to rid himself of the leprosy inflicted by Brahma's curse.

Ban Theatre- Assam

Professor M.P.Ranjan

Ban Theater is the first modern Assamese theatre hall. The Ban Theatre was established in the year 1906. Many of the great modern Assamese dramas were first staged here. Assamese cultural icons Rupkonowar Jyoti Prasad Agarwal, Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Nata Surya Phani Sharma performed dramas through Ban Theater. There have been many a live performances at the Ban Theatre in Tezpur, whcih is famously connected to Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Bishnu Rabha ,Phani Sarma. The tradition of performing modern theatre continues till today.

Contributed by: CEE North East


Baranaja (literally meaning twelve grains) is a traditional mixed farming system widespread across the rain fed Garhwali agricultural regions in Uttarakhand. In the baranaja system, there is intercropping of twelve, or sometimes more, crops. Cereals, lentils, vegetables, creepers and root vegetables are grown in this companion planting system. All crops are planted together on the same terraced fields in the kharif / chau masa or monsoon season.

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In Tripura, bamboo forms the core of local tradition. As they say in the tribal villages of Tripura, "Once born, you cannot survive without bamboo". This is literally true because in certain tribes, the first time a person comes into contact with bamboo is immediately after birth, when his or her umbilical cord is cut with a bamboo blade. And bamboo accompanies him or her throughout his or her life. Bamboo's widespread availability made its role almost indispensable in the local lifestyle. The indigenous people of Tripura use the material for a variety of purposes ranging from fencing to housing, fans to furniture, baskets to bridges, food to medicine.

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Basohli Painting

Professor M.P.Ranjan

Basohli Paintings is a fusion of Hindu mythology, Mughal miniature techniques and folk art of the local hills, evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries as a distinctive style of painting. This style of painting derives its name from the place of its origin - hill town of Basohli about 80 Km. from the centre of district Kathua in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

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Baul Music

The Bauls are mystic minstrels living in rural Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. Their music and way of life have influenced Bengali culture, especially the compositions of Rabindranath Tagore. Bauls travel from village to village and earn their living from singing to the accompaniment of the ektara, a simple one-stringed instrument, and a drum called dubki.

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Bidriware/Bidri Works - Traditional Metal Crafts of Bidar

Professor M.P.Ranjan

Bidriware is a metal handicraft that originated in Bidar, Karnataka, in the 14th century, during the rule of the Bahamani Sultans. The term 'Bidriware' originates from the township of Bidar, which is still the chief centre for the manufacture of this unique metalware. Due to its strikingly intricate inlay work involving pure silver, Bidriware has always been prized as a symbol of wealth. The metal used is a blackened alloy of zinc and copper inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver. Traditional Bidri artefacts are in high demand in the country as well globally. Bidar city is well known for its unique Bidri handicraft products.

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Bhawani Durries of Coimbatore

The Bhawani durries of Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu date back to a couple of centuries. They are woven in cotton and silk. On a cotton base, cotton stripes or traditional designs are woven and on silk base, the designs are woven in silk. This place was initially famous for silk durries ut now staple has taken its place for economic reasons.


Contributed by Vanitha and Team, CEE South


Bhangra and its music originated from farmers in Punjab where agriculture is the prime profession. The songs are those that the men would sing while tending to their fields, sowing the seeds and harvesting crops. Traditional Bhangra movements reflect the many aspects of tending to the land and growing crops. Since agricultural work was done mainly by the men and young boys, the dance steps are boisterous and manly. The version performed by women is called Giddha.

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Bhavai: Folk Dance of Gujarat

Bhavai is as much a form of entertainment as it is a kind of ritual offering made to the goddess Amba. According to scholars, the term Bhavai is composed of two words - Bhava and Aai. Bhava means universe and Aai is mother; together they signify the mother of the universe, Amba. Another interesting definition comes from the fact that the three letters of Bha-va-I symbolize the Past, Present and Future. Thus, through Bhavai the performers try to interpret the present based on learning from the past while depicting future scenarios.

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Brass and Bell metal Works

Bellmetal ware occupies a pride of place in the history of Odisha. The artisans of Brass and Bellmetal are traditionally called "Kansari". They propagate ancient and modern method of manufacturing utensils and decorative items which are of traditional shape.

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Buddhist Chants of Laddakh

The recitation of Ancient sacred Buddhist text is done every day by Buddhist monks in the Trans-Himalayan Region of Laddakh. The recitations have spiritual value and are done in order to appease the wrath of evil spirits and invoking the blessing of various Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, deities and Rinpoches (high 'Lama' reincarnate) for the well being of people and the world at large. The chanting helps in the meditation process and believed to be a path tp enlightenment. The chanting is often accompanied by music and dance. While chanting the monks wear special costumes and make (hand) gestures representing the divine being of the Buddha. Bells, drums, cymbals and trumpets are used to add the rythm.

Source IGNCA Inventory of ICH, Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA

Contributed by Aditya, CEE Ahmedabad