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Temple dance in Terai
The sun turns towards the south in the month of Shrawan. So there is a lot of fairs and festivals in the whole Terai-Madhesh. These fairs and festivals start from the sweet and soothing month of Srawana or Sawan of Nepali calendar. These are cultural expressions of individuals, families and societies. They celebrate whole heartedly their glorious heritages, cultures and traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation. They also provide people ample opportunity for recreation, amusement, entertainment, enjoyment, and refreshment for their good health. They also serve as a safety valve to dispel disappointment, and dullness of daily life. They also connect to integrate the community, society and nation. They usually start from the month of Asadh (July- August) when farmers plant paddy saplings in their fields and last till Mangshir (October-December).There is very enjoyable weather to celebrate these festivals.
Except these festivals, there are several dances which are also performed in this season. These dances are performed under the milky moon and starry sky but the temple dance is performed in temples. This is called Jhulan or Jhula in the local language. This dance is performed in temples of Terai-Madhesh on the auspicious occasion of Jhulan. This is the most famous and popular dance. The Jhula dance which is performed at Janaki Temple of Janakpur is very attractive entertaining and inspiring. This dance is enacted for a fortnight during the rainy season.
The people from Terai, work hard in their fields in day time and at night they relax and entertain themselves by dancing and singing before the idol of Lord Krishna and his constant companion Radha, his beloved. This is performed in a temple of each and every village in Terai-Madhesh. This is customary to enact it before the idol of god and goddess during this pleasant season. Dance drama like Krishna Lila is also performed on this occasion to highlight the characteristics of Lord Krishna and Radha lover and beloved respectively.
This dance is the source of recreation as well as inspiration because it is very devotional in nature. There is also divine touch in it. Jhulan dance is performed during the moonless night, when the rainy season is at its peak. Sometimes, it rains cats and dogs outside but the dance is performed continuously for the whole night inside the temple.
The audiences assemble at every temple of Nepal Terai. This creates an atmosphere of celebrating religion and recreation together. Distribution of prasad is also customary in some of the temples which have been resourceful. This dance is accompanied by several musical folk instruments it is a matter of great regret that the local musicians are worried that they lack government’s patronage as the folk musical instruments have been fading away over the last few decades posing a threat to folk music. If the art of crafting musical instruments is not preserved and promoted, then it is very difficult to save these folk instruments. This dance is related with Lord Ram and goddess Sita along with lord Krishna and goddess Radha. They are the permanent and perennial source of spiritual inspiration.
- by Republica