The festival song
सामा खेले चलली.. बनी संग सहेली..
हो जुग जुग जिय हो.. भैया जिय हो..,
सामचक-सामचक अइयह हो,
जोतला खेत में ढ़ेपा फोरि फोरि खैयह हो,
सामा खेलेय गेलिये हो भैइया चकेवा ले गेल चोर……..
The Heritage of Mithila
One of the famous folk song, full of amusement and fun, hold a special place in the heart of people belonging to Mithilanchal. After the famous Chath Puja, people, especially women or young girls start preparing for another festival. This is known as Sama Chakva festival.
Sama Chakva is mainly celebrated in the Mithila region of Bihar, also known as Madhubani and in Nepal. This begins on the seventh day of Kartik or November month and ends on Kartik Purnima (full moon day). Likewise Chath, this is also eco-friendly and kept for the well being of the family. This festival is celebrated by sisters for her brother’s long age and good health.
The most noteworthy thing about this is that it is not about praying God. Rather, it is about remembering the love and affection that brothers and sisters are sharing. The origin of this festival is mentioned in Skanda Purana and Padma Purana.
The story is related to Sama, the daughter and Samba, the son of Lord Krishna and Jumavati. One day a mischievous Samant made a false charge on Sama that she has an illicit relation with a sage. Furious, Lord Krishna in anger, cursed his daughter to become a bird. After embracing the face of the Sama, her husband, Chakravak, also took the form of a bird. When Sambha, brother of Sama, came to know about this incident, he decided to help her. Samba started asceticism and being overwhelmed by the penance of Samba, Lord Krishna asked Samb to ask for the boon. Hence, Samb asked Krishna to bring the Sama back in human form. Knowing about the penance, Sama blesses her brother and says that sisters who will worship Sama Chakva along with her brother will have a long-term age of her brother.
There is one more belief related to this festival is that birds start migrating from mountains to the plains and it is also celebrated as the rice is cultivated at this time.
For the celebration, clay idol is made on the occasion and characters are represented by them. First of all the clay idol of Sama, Chakwa, Samant, Kahazan Chidiya, Bees, and Sakhari are made. These idols are painted in bright colours. On last day, ladies prepare a Dala and keep all the idols into that. They all get ready and put that dala or bamboo basket on their head and go to an empty space of fields. They sing songs, make the idols ready for the marriage. Then idol of Samant is burnt and cursed.
A marriage ceremony is performed and hence, Sama and Chakva leave for their home. All the idols are then pressed into the soil are left in the water. Rituals are performed similarly to a marriage and Vidai is then done.
Therefore, this festival started with happiness and joy ends up with tears. However, this amazing celebration is been diminishing due to modernity and urbanization. Sama Chawa is all about enthusiasm and is an intangible heritage.