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Why Santhals of Bengal mourn during Durga Puja?

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While the larger part of Bengal preens herself in preparation for one of the biggest festivals of the world, the Santhal community mourns the entire period during Durga puja. Sounds strange? Wait till you hear why.

Away from the extravagance and glamour of Kolkata and the rest of Bengal during Durga Puja, the Santhal community remains bleak and silent during this time. A complete contrast to the happy and enjoyable frame of mind of Bengal's devotees of Durga, the Santhal community are woebegone -- they are mourning for the fallen leader of their tribe -- the mythological demon Mahishasura!

Yes, you read that right! The story goes that the demon, the archnemesis of the Goddess, was actually the chief of the Santhal Tribe, and had driven back the Aryans with his strength and bravery. However, greatly angered by their defeat, the Aryans plotted against him, and sent a woman to fight in their stead. Mahishasura, refusing to lay his hand on a woman, ultimately died for his virtuous nature. 

Therefore, the community commemorates the event, called Hudur Durga Festival, where they mourn the death of their lionhearted, righteous leader. Santhals call it the Dasai Festival in their dialect. The event attracts tourists and visitors from all over the world, with their unique tribal dances, songs, choir and even stunt performances. You can visit and experience this distinctive festival for yourself this puja. Book a quaint and beautiful cottage by the Kangsabati River and be a part of the festivities.