Vriksharopana & Halakarshana

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On July 14, 1928, Rabindranath Tagore started the Vriksharopana Utsav (Tree Planting Ceremony) by planting a bokul sapling in Pearson Pally neighbouring. This tree planting festival or Vriksharopana at Santiniketan initiated by Tagore regularly in 1936 and since then it is being continued as ritual of Santiniketan. This seasonal festivals at Santiniketan is picturesque with their simple and artistic ceremonials accompanied by music, dancing and Vedic chanting, invoking nature’s fertility and symbolizing its ever-recurring youth. Rabindranath had long bewailed the ruthless deforestation of the countryside In his own words poet said –  “The Creator had sent life, made preparations everywhere for the same. Humans out of greed provided ingredients for killing.  Violating the Creator’s intent, there is so much curses in the human society. Destroying the forests, greedy humans, invited their own detriment. Trees are assigned to cleanse the air, their fallen leaves provide fertility to the soil, and they are being uprooted. Whatever be the gifts of the Creator for benefit, humans having forgotten their own well being wasted them.” He wished to introduce a practice which would catch the popular imagination and make people plant trees for the love of them. Vriksharopana Utsav celebrated on 22nd of Shravan (7 or 8th August), the death anniversary day of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

Halakarshana (Ploughing Ceremony) is a symbolic tribute to the activity of ploughing the land. The ceremony aimed at endowing the work of ploughing with the dignity, almost sacredness, that was its due. An important dignitary is invited to drive the plough. Halakarshana celebrated in the rainy season on 23rd day of Shravan (8 or 9th August).

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