Festival Days : Last week of the month of
Festival Venue : Shantiniketan, Kolkata.
Festival Origins: Pous Mela has its origins in the year
1843. Maharishi Debendranath Tagore got converted and was formally
announced as a Brahmo, towards the end of the year 1843. The years
that followed saw more conversions, from Hindu to Brahmo faith. The
Maharishi realized the grave problem of disintegration in the
community and it was to organize this very particular community that
a congregation was held on 7th December in the year 1845. The trust
founded by the Maharishi carried on the mission and on 21st
December, 1895 the first Pous Mela was held at Shantiniketan.
Celebrations: Pous Mela tries to bridge different
communities, that exist in the state of West Bengal. The fair was
marked with cultural intersection of various segments of the
society, in the past. The line of demarcation between rural and
urban population was not that prominent, in cultural terms, in the
past. The fair was aimed to provide social interaction and
discourses among various communities. As such it used to be more
like a cultural activity, rather than fanfare and show biz. In its
present form the fair is a large crowd puller who primarily come for
merchandising goods and the entertainment of it. It is a session
where rural masses and the urban business conglomerates exchange
their point of view and more. There is a great display of consumer
goods and items, a large crowd, and the rumble in the air.
Recent Practices: Despite the onslaught of the cultural
values the fair still holds some of its primitive attributes. Every
year the fair starts with the traditional morning prayers, normally
at the campus of Visva Bharati University. The fair is visited by a
whole genre of people, rural, urban, from different faiths and cross
sections of the society. The popular Baul singers who in their songs
provide the insights on mundane matters, students and teachers,
artists and performers of dance and theatre, tourists and more flock
in the region.