Sarhul prediction: Normal rain, good harvest this monsoon in Jharkhand
Sarhul, at the core of which is the worship of saal trees, is celebrated with traditional fervour every year and monsoon prediction is one of the highlights of the festival. The prediction is done through an age-old traditional method.Updated: Apr 09, 2019 01:04 IST
Struggling with a drought situation, Jharkhand farmers might see their luck turn this year, as tribal priests on Monday predicted normal rainfall this monsoon. The prediction came on the occasion of Sarhul, one of Jharkhand’s biggest tribal festivals that celebrates the union between living beings and nature.
Sarhul, at the core of which is the worship of saal trees, is celebrated with traditional fervour every year and monsoon prediction is one of the highlights of the festival. The prediction is done through an age-old traditional method.
As per the ritual, Jaglal Pahan, a tribal priest, placed two earthen pots and filled them up with water under the saal tree at Sarna Sthal, a sacred place for tribals, in Ranchi’s Hatma area on Sunday night. On the second day of the festival, on Monday, the pahan made the prediction by judging the water level in the pots. Jaglal Pahan said, “As per our prediction, rainfall will be good this monsoon, and so will the harvest.”
Tribal people have had faith in the prediction made by the pahans for ages. “Earlier, there were no equipment for prediction of rain and crops. Tribal priests, with their traditional method, used to predict [rainfall and harvest] and that used to be perfect. We have been carrying forward the tradition and it still matches the scientific prediction of weather,” said Bablu Munda, president of Sarna Sabha.
Meteorological officials, however, said that based on analyses of several parameters, including sea surface temperature, global wind pattern, and the El Nino effect, rainfall prediction for monsoon was done by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“IMD generally releases the first outlook of monsoon by last week of April. Till then, we can’t say anything about monsoon,” said RS Sharma, forecasting officer at Ranchi’s IMD centre.
Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, recently predicted below normal monsoon rainfall this year on account of the El Nino weather phenomenon.
In 2018, the pahan had given a similar prediction, which matched the IMD prediction. Last year, the southwest monsoon had hit Kerala on May 29, three days before its normal date. Thereafter, it weakened and hit Jharkhand on June 25. Despite the delay, weather officials had predicted normal rainfall, but monsoon ended over Jharkhand with a 28% rain deficit, which caused crop loss. The Jharkhand government eventually declared 129 blocks out of 264 in the state as drought-hit.
State awash in Sarhul colours
Thousands of tribal men, women, and children, resplendent in tribal dress, headgears, anklets, and bangles participated in processions in different parts of the capital city Ranchi. Holding up Sarhul flags, they marched towards Siram Toli, where the processions culminated with tribal rituals.
Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das said that the tribal community had been celebrating the festival of Sarhul from ancient days.