While everyone is busy in post Diwali wrap up, there is a community, still eagerly waiting for Diwali celebrations. For a region known as Jaunsar-Bawar in Uttarakhand, Diwali is still one month away. The belief is that the residents were informed about celebrating Diwali only one after the others as this place was very isolated. The residents have named call this tradition of celebrating Diwali post one month as "Boodhi Diwali" (Old Diwali). It has been an age-old tradition with no signs of changing.
It is believed that when Shri Ram, returned to Ayodhya after gaining victory over Ravana, the news spread in his kingdom and people began celebrating by lighting lamps and distributing sweets. The news spread to other areas too. But this mountainous northern region was far away and it took a month for the news to reach there. People of Jaunsar-Bawar began the celebrations as soon as they got the news. It sounds strange to celebrate Diwali one month after the world is done with the celebrations. But these people have been doing so for so long now.
Jaunsar-Bawar is a whole universe in itself. Everything about that place is unique. It has its own distinct culture and cuisine. The aroma of the wood from pine trees and taste of sweet puris is what people of Jaunsar remember the most about the Diwali there. The dialect of Jaunsari community is also known as ‘Jaunsari’ and their culture is quite different from the Garhwali and Kumaoni communities of Uttarakhand.
Dance and music are an integral part of the culture of the Jaunsari community. During festivals, both men and women dance to the rhythm of the melodious folk music. The dancers don colourful traditional clothes; representing the rich culture of Jaunsar while the local people wear "Thalka" or "Lohiya", which is a long coat. But the most exciting part of any hilly area are the ghost stories, and believe us, Jaunsar has plenty to keep you up all night.
However, the youngsters have started migrating out of Jaunsar- Bawar towards the cities to build their career. The traditions are vulnerable and might fade out. Well, we hope the culture remains intact and we have two Diwalis to celebrate. For anyone who skipped celebrating Diwali because of work, you know where to go!Read More