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Sohrai is a festival of the Indian states of Jharkhand , Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and West Bengal. It is a cattle festival. People fast throughout the day and bathe cattle. In the evening, sacrifices are offered to the cattle deity.

In Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand an indigenous art form is practised by the women. Ritualistic art is done on mud walls to welcome the harvest and to celebrate the cattle.


The women clean their houses and decorate their walls with murals of Sohrai arts. This art form has continued since 10,000-4,000 BC. It was prevalent mostly in caves, but shifted to houses with mud walls[1].

Bhelwara Sohrai
Bhelwara Sohrai

This Sohrai art form is usually either monochromatic or colorful. The people coat the wall with a layer of white mud, and while the layer is still wet, they draw with their fingertips on it. Their designs range from flowers and fruits to various other nature-inspired designs. The cow dung that was earlier used to cake the walls of the house is used to add colour. The dark outline is visible due to the previously applied contrasting white mud coat. Sohrai artists are spontaneous in their drawing. Little pre-planning is evident. The canvases range up to 12 x 18 feet..The designs are usually drawn from the artist's memory. The personal experience of the artist, and their interaction with nature are the biggest influence.

Girls are little educated or uneducated. This form of art is derived from the study of nature

The harvest festival is the time of the year when they exhibit their artistic skills and expressions. Every year, after the festival is over, the drawings and patterns created during this time are erased. This festival usually takes place in the month October or November for three days.


  1. ^ 1949-, Singh, Ajit Kumar, (1997). Land use, environment and economic growth in India. MD Publ. ISBN 8175330252. OCLC 313224070.