Jhijhiya Dance – A Captivating Folk Art of Bihar State

Jhijhiya Dance of Bihar

Jhijhiya is a famous folk dance of Bihar and is performed in the mythological city of Mithila. Mithila was supposed to be the birthplace of Lord Sita, who was considered to be the human form of Lord Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Mahavishnu. As the story goes, King Janaka found the child Sita from underground during one of his morning walks. With such a mythological background, the Jhijhiya folk dance is performed in Bihar with great vigor and gusto.

Cultivation of food crops is an important occupation and livelihood in India and rain is the most important factor for cultivation. The vagaries of the monsoon can lead to either a poor or no harvest, and the tribals of Bihar pray to their gods to bless them with a bountiful harvest.

Since all this depends on rain, they offer special prayers to the God of Rain and the King of Gods, Lord Indra, to see to it that sufficient rain is sent so that the crops grow well. The ladies perform the Jhijhiya dance as part of their prayers, asking God to take care of their crops and prevent them from falling into a state of famine or less food. They also thank God for so many years of cultivation and ask for continued good harvests.

History of Jhijhiya Dance

The Jhijhiya dance seems to have been performed even in earlier times of history. This dance is mentioned by women of some tribes in Bihar on the last day of Navaratri – which is commonly called Bijaya Dasami. It means Victorious Tenth Day and women thank god for all their achievements and pray for more on this day while dancing Jhijhiya.

Dance performance by Jhijhiya Tribe

This Jhijhiya dance is performed only by women. The entire festival of Navaratri – ‘nine nights’ is celebrated to worship the three forms of Lord Lakshmi, Parvati, and Saraswathi. It is a highly revered festival for women and is celebrated with much gaiety and splendor across the country. In mythology, these three forms combined to eradicate the evil god Mahishasura, so this is considered a time of victory and success over all evil things.

The day after nine nights, which is the day of Bijaya Dasami, Bihari women gather and perform the Jhijhiya dance. This dance requires a lot of practice as the women wear lighted lanterns on their heads while dancing. Most folk dances have some aspect like this – which adds more beauty and grace to these folk dances.

These dancers are well-trained and seem to dance effortlessly, proving that they have been trained to dance to this perfection from a young age. The light shines through beautifully, coming from those intricately carved holes in the lanterns, and we can’t help but praise the dancers – no oil spills, no off balance, everything is so systematically and professionally done

We feel they deserve much more recognition for all their passion that is manifested in the performance of this Jhijhiya dance – these folk dances speak so much about our abilities, but only a few of these dances have caught the eye. It is time we wake up and devote our efforts to spreading the word about the greatness of our folk dances.

Costume Of Jhijhiya Dance

The costume of the Jhijhiya dance in Bihar typically consists of the following elements:

  1. Angarkha: It is a traditional long tunic-style upper garment with a flared silhouette. The Angarkha is usually adorned with intricate embroidery and mirrorwork.
  2. Dhoti: Dhoti is a traditional lower garment worn by male performers. It is a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and legs.
  3. Kurti: Female performers wear a Kurti, a shorter tunic-style top that reaches the waist. It is often embellished with colorful embroidery and mirror work.
  4. Lehenga or Ghagra: Women wear a Lehenga or Ghagra, which is a flared skirt reaching the ankles. It is typically adorned with vibrant patterns and designs.
  5. Odhni or Dupatta: Both male and female dancers wear an Odhni or Dupatta, which is a long scarf draped over the shoulder or head. It adds elegance to the costume and can be used for various movements during the performance.
  6. Accessories: Performers often wear traditional jewelry, including necklaces, earrings, bangles, and anklets. These accessories are typically made of silver or gold and are adorned with colorful stones and beads.

The colors of the costumes are usually bright and vibrant, reflecting the festive nature of the dance. The use of mirrors, embroidery, and intricate designs adds a touch of glamour to the overall attire, making it visually captivating during performances.

Instrument Used In Jhijhiya Dance

Jhijhiya dancers place lanterns made from mud on their heads. These lanterns are terribly artfully designed with holes in them. Lamps are placed inside these lanterns. These lamps are units crammed with oil or drawn butter and lit. it’s a beauty that will solely be seen as a result of the lamps area unit still burning and therefore the lightweight comes through the holes within the lanterns, and since the ladies hold it in their heads, the sunshine additionally appears to maneuver gently and graciously. This is really a very beautiful sight. and some musical instruments are used Harmonium, Bansuri, and Dholak Tassa.


The Jhijhiya dance of Bihar is a vibrant and energetic folk dance form that holds significant cultural importance in the region. With its rhythmic movements and lively music, it showcases the rich heritage and traditions of Bihar. The dance is primarily performed during festivals and celebrations, adding a festive charm to the occasion. Through its graceful steps and expressive gestures, the Jhijhiya dance reflects the Bihari people’s joy, enthusiasm, and unity.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is Jhijhiya dance?

A: This dance is a traditional folk dance form of Bihar, India. It is known for its lively movements, rhythmic footwork, and vibrant music.

Q: When is the Jhijhiya dance performed?

A: This dance is usually performed during festivals, weddings, and other celebratory occasions in Bihar.

Q: What is the significance of the Jhijhiya dance?

A: This dance holds cultural significance as it showcases the traditional heritage and customs of Bihar. It is a means of expressing joy, unity, and celebration among the Bihari people.

Q: What are the costumes worn during the Jhijhiya dance?

A: The dancers typically wear colorful traditional attire, including a saree or lehenga for women, and a dhoti-kurta or kurta-pajama for men. They also adorn themselves with traditional jewelry and accessories.

Q: How is the Jhijhiya dance performed?

A: Jhijhiya dance involves synchronized movements, footwork, and gestures. The dancers form various patterns and circles while maintaining a lively tempo set by the accompanying musicians.

Q: What is the music like in the Jhijhiya dance?

A: The music for Jhijhiya dance is usually provided by traditional instruments like the dholak, harmonium, flute, and manjira. The rhythm and melodies complement the dance movements and add to the overall festive ambiance.

Q: Is Jhijhiya dance popular outside Bihar?

A: While Jhijhiya dance is primarily associated with Bihar, it has gained recognition and popularity beyond the state’s borders. Cultural festivals and events often feature this folk dance form, allowing people from different regions to appreciate its beauty and vibrancy.

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