The festival takes place at the end of winter and beginning of spring. The moods and attitudes of the festival participants indicate breaking down boundaries. The fire symbolises pride and the source of power located in human fertility. The symbol of fire indicating fertility is used by many in films and also plays a central role in Hindu rituals having deep rooted connotation.
People's participation and play with fire enhances and sets the mood in comfortable temperature with naked trees and fallen leaves. The interaction and chorous voice "Aaj aamader nerapora kal aamader dol/ purnima te chaNd utheche bolo horibol" - To day is the fire tomorrow is the colour/ look at the full moon and say "horibol". The word horibol has at least two connotations in contemporary bengal – a) a loud call to the God Vishnu, who is also known as 'hari', and b) it indicates a frenzy, anomic and disorganised condition. The God Bishnu has different names and appearances among them Shri Krishna is very famous for love making. In a way the symbols of love and people being frenzy with the fire indicates the mood of romance and love making.
The Culture and Cognition
In the relational domain, strong kinship, defined and compartmentalised society leaves little room for a free flowing touch, smell and mixing of people. Human beings being not just another animal have learned to control certain drives and instincts. In a way instinct is replaced by freedom, however, the freedom is structurally exercised by the society. However, relative freedom is provided, in the name of festival which starts with burning down the old and unused and in a sense symbolically provides a refreshed cultural domain.
The Functional Domain
The festival uses accumulated heaps of dried leaves, branches and waste materials. Burning down these items yearly indicates hygienic behaviour. People's large scale community based participation enhances social capital.
When we are in the mood for colours and play with our frenzy self are we still missing something?