Folklore of Bengal, a rich and vibrant cultural tradition of its rural people, evolved over a period beginning perhaps even before the arrival of the Aryans. Its influence on Bengali village life is as great as life itself. Bengal is the land of festivities.
According to a popular saying Bengal has "thirteen festivals in twelve months". These festivities are centred around the six seasons. They either form part of religions of its people or relate to the agricultural cycles - sowing of crops and harvesting or just happen as integral fragments of life. Each festival in the Bengali calendar has brought immense joy and pleasure to millions of people over centuries. The festive occasions are always accompanied by carnivals of sport, music, dance, drama, riddles and other performing events.
Folk MusicThe fact that the Bengali folk songs and musical heritage astonishingly survived the onset of Indian classical music, clearly points to their depth, variety and distinct character or tradition. Whilst some impressions of classical rag or ragini are noticeable in branches of Bengali folk music, most remained virgin. However, it is not quite clear if this character can survive the radio rage and the hot-dog imperialism.
Perhaps unwise to do so, Bengali folk songs can be grouped in a number of loosely defined classes.