The quaint town of Santiniketan comes alive with vibrant colours, cultural fervour, and a celebration that transcends time and tradition, Poush Mela. Santiniketan’s winter fair began in 1895 and was last conducted in 2019. Returning after 4 years, the winter fair is stated to be held later this year.
What Is Poush Mela?
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Poush Mela is not just a fair; it is an immersive experience that combines the essence of rural Bengal with the intellectual and artistic vibrancy that Santiniketan is renowned for. The fair serves as a bridge between the past and the present. It brings together locals, tourists, and artists in a celebration of art, music, dance, and the indomitable spirit of community.
The Poush Mela, which takes place on the seventh day of the Bengali month of Poush (typically in late December), was part of the agreement when Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Debendranath, established the Santiniketan Trust in 1888. It was intended to help local peasants at the time, as well as the Nobel laureate, and included theatrical and musical acts.
As the city increased in size, so did the difficulties, such as a failure to observe environmental regulations and discontinued in 2019. The Poush Mela experienced only two interruptions in its long history, both in the 1940s, once owing to starvation and once due to WWII.
Against the backdrop of Santiniketan’s pastoral landscape, Poush Mela unfolds as a vibrant tapestry of colours, sounds, and flavours that captivate the senses and celebrate the spirit of the community. Even now, the fair with its timeless charm and cultural richness, continues to be a cherished tradition that beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the soul-stirring experience of Bengal’s cultural heritage.
The Mela Is Back Again After A Hiatus
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The Poush Mela was founded by Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Maharshi Debendranath, in Santiniketan in 1894. This year, it will be held later this month after a four-year hiatus, according to Visva-Bharati, Bengal’s only central university in Birbhum district. The executive council (EC) of the institution made the decision to resume the fair.
The fair, which is held at the end of December attracts thousands of people, including foreign tourists. It has long been a part of the Santiniketan township and Visva-Bharati. Rabindranath Tagore established the university in 1921, 16 years after the death of his father.
Art exhibitions and installations are integral to Poush Mela, reflecting the artistic legacy of Santiniketan. This fusion of traditional and contemporary art serves as a reminder of Santiniketan’s role as a cultural hub. It’s a place that nurtures creativity and artistic expression. This aspect of the fair aligns with Santiniketan’s emphasis on rural reconstruction and sustainable living. That, in turn, reflects Tagore’s vision for an integrated and self-sustaining community.
Poush Mela has a timeless charm and cultural richness. It continues to be a cherished tradition that beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the soul-stirring experience of Bengal’s cultural heritage.
So, will you be visiting Poush Mela?
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