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Raipur is historically rich in culture and heritage. The dominant culture in this part is much influenced by those prevalent in other parts of Chhattisgarh. The local people love to converse in their native language viz. Chhattisgarhi. The culture of Raipur includes its religious beliefs, fairs and festivals and traditions of the people living here. From charming folk sings to thumping folk dances and regional festivals it has all and more that differentiate it with other parts of the country and state.
Folk Dances of Raipur
The popular music and dance forms of the people belonging to this district are Raut Nacha (folk dance of cowherds), Padki, Dewar Nacha, Pandwani, Panthi and Sowa. These dance forms are as interesting as attractive.Pandwani is a famous musical way of singing the epic Mahabharata in this region. This music style has been brought into limelight by the well known Teejan Bai and young Ritu Verma.
Folk Songs of Raipur
Raipur prides in its own cuisine, music and dance styles. The traditional folk songs likeBihav, Sohar and Pathoni songs are famous. Sohar songs are sung at times of child birth, Bihav songs are sung on marriage occasions. The main parts of Bihav songs are Chulmati, Telmati, Nahdouri, Maymouri, Bhadoni, Parghani and others related to Bhanver, Dowry and 'Vidai' songs. The Pathoni songs are related to Gouna; they are sung when the bride leaves for the bridegroom's home.Other seasonal Chhattisgarhi folk songs are Faag (spring), Baramasi (12 months), Sawnahi (rainy season). Cher-Chera songs are sung to welcome of the new crops. Dohe of Rout Nacha and Sua songs are sung on Diwali.
Goura songs (to worship Shiv and Parvati on Dipawali), Mata Seva songs, Bhojali songs, Janvara songs, Nagpanchami songs, Dhankul songs are regional folk songs. Fugdi, Kau-Mau, Loriya, Chau-Mau, Khuduwa (Kakdi), Dandi Pouha are children's play songs.Karma, Danda and Dewar songs are most popular songs for entertainment songs in Raipur. The most famous and popular folk plays here are Lorik-Chanda, Chandaini-Gonda, Sonha-Bihan Kari, Gammatiha, Hareli. Rahas is the modern folk play of Raipur.
Dresses & Ornaments of Raipur
The culture of this place is also reflected through the colorfully vibrant life of the people. Women wear colourful dresses and a variety of bright and charming ornaments. Baandha, Phuli, Suta, Bali, Khunti, Patta, Choora, Ainthi are some of the various decorative items worn by women. Women wear sarees with Kardhani which is wore on the waist, Pounchhi is a ring for upper arm and Bichhiya are worn on toes. Rural women wear necklace made of one rupee coins. This has however gone out of trend these days. Men wear Koundhi and Kadhah for special occasions like dances.
Festivals of Raipur
Some of the prominent festivals celebrated locally are Gouri-Goura, Hareli, Pola and Teeja festivals. These festivals are celebrated with full fervour and togetherness. Hareli is celebrated in the month of 'Shravan' as a mark of greenery. Farmers worship their farm equipments and cows. They place the leaves and branches of a tree named Bhelwa, found in the forests and villages of this district, in the fields and pray for a good crop. People also hang small branches of neem tree at the main entrance of houses to prevent occurrence of seasonal diseases and ailments. Baigas are the traditional medical practitioners here. They begin teaching medicinal techniques to their disciples from Hareli for fifteen days. After this, they examine their disciples for medical skills and give the acceptance to practice medicine if found eligible.
From the festival of Hareli to Pola, children play 'Gedi' (walking on bamboo). They put on show their various feats on Gedi and also take part in the Gedi race. Hareli heralds the beginning of festive season in this region. Hareli is followed by Pola and Teeja. People celebrate Pola by worshipping bullocks. A special feature of this festival is the bull race. Children play with clay idols of Nandia-Bail (Vahana of Lord Shiva). Teeja is the festival celebrated by women. On this occasion, married women pray for the welfare and longevity of their husbands. The custom involves performing the prayer at the woman's parents' place. Every festival is celebrated with harmony and togetherness. The festivals reflect the unique art and culture of Raipur and the state of Chhattisgarh.
Communities like Gond, Kamar, Uranv, Kanver, Baiga, Korva, Halba, Pando and many other scheduled tribes celebrate music, dance, marriage and other cultural festival. Raipur's people especially celebrate Navakhani, Ganga Dushhera, Sarhul Chherka, Dushara, Dipawali, Karma, Kartika & Hareli.
Fairs of Raipur
This culturally rich place holds a number of fairs and festivals round the year in different parts of Raipur and the state of Chhattisgarh. Some of them are the Sirpur Dance and Music Festival, the First Fruits Festival, the Earth Festival, Teeja Festival, Pola Festival. Champaran Mela is held every year in the month of January and February. Champaran is a small town in the district that has religious significance as the birthplace of the Saint Vallabhacharya.The mela attracts Vaishnavs from all over the country. Today Raipur is a multicultural city where people from across the world have come and settled. The people of Raipur take pride in and preserve their culture. Nonetheless, they are amenable to adopting new trends and lifestyles too. The natives of Raipur are known for their simplicity, kind-heartedness and adaptability and this is the real culture of this region.
Crafts of Raipur
The most special feature of Raipur lies in its richness of excusite craft items. Raipur in Chhattisgarh is a glittering example of beautiful art and craft items of the bygone era. The states government is working for the preservation and development of its vanishing handicrafts by training and employing traditional and non traditional craftsmen for the steady progress of the art in the state. Chhattisgarh is home to a number of culturally rich tribal communities. Their deep association with nature has produced an exquisitely beautiful and inspiring craft heritage.
Traditional craftsmen of Raipur are expert in creating mind-boggling variety of handicrafts like Bamboo Craft, Carpet Weaving, Clay relief work, Godna printing, Cowrie Ctaft, Jute, Kosaand Sisal craft, Stone carving, Terracotta, Tumba, Wrought iron and Wood craft besides tribal painting. Their art bears frequent references to local rituals,folklore and mythology reflecting the cultural legacy of the region. The unique quality of rawness in the finish adds to the rustic appeal of the products.