Festivals are a mirrored image of the rich diversity and also bring communities together. Feasts and festivities are tools to bring exuberance and enthusiasm to the monotonous life. While the celebrations happen everywhere the year in India, festivals are the time when cultures are seen at their vibrant best.
Coming to Bihar, a state where people from different religions coexist harmoniously may be a true manifestation of rich culture and traditions. Festivals are the soul of Bihar and every festival has intriguing fables attached thereto . Festivities here are marked with fasts, feasts, and folk songs that are peculiar to the present culturally bound state.
10 Famous Fairs & Festivals In Bihar
If you’re trying to find some distinct and noteworthy experience of festivals during this a part of the country, then here may be a piece of data . Take a look:
- Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is that the famous and main festival of Bihar. Bihar is an ancient land having deep roots in religion. Folks in Bihar, being spiritually inclined, celebrate many festivals to worship God. Chhath Puja is that the only Vedic festival that’s dedicated to the Sun God. The festival is widely known twice a year, in Chaitra Maas (March) and in Kartik Maas (November). it’s 4 days of festivity where people fast and offer prayers during the sunset gathering near the river banks.
They also sing folk songs and dance in praise of Surya Dev and Chhatti Maiyya. People in Bihar have immense faith during this festival and that they maintain sanctity and purity in their households. it’s believed that through this festival many negative energies are eradicated from the encompassing .
Makar Sankranti is that the harvest festival of Bihar. almost like Pongal in South India and Lohri in North India, Makar-Sankranti, referred to as Tila Sankrant in Bihar incorporates religious also as mythological significance. per annum in January, Makar Sankranti Mela is held at Rajgir. During this festival, devotees offer flowers to the deities within the temples and take a dip within the water of hot springs.
Another a part of Bihar that lies within the Banka district celebrates the festival by organizing a huge fair at Mandar Hills. With its origin in Mahabharata, it’s believed that the conch shell -the shank of Lord Krishna has been found on the hills. To celebrate the mythological roots, Makar Sankranti is therefore amongst the foremost famous and most auspicious festivals in Bihar.
- Buddha Jayanti
Bihar being the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment, Buddha Jayanti is, therefore, the revered festival in Bihar. it’s celebrated in Bodh Gaya and Rajgir on a full-of-the-moon day (Purnima) in May. Buddha Poornima is that the most sacred day for Buddhists which is why an outsized number of people belonging to the Buddhist community pay a visit to the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.
This can be considered to be the holiest shrine for Buddhists. The celebration begins with a procession from the 80-ft tall Buddha statue up to the Bodhi tree behind the temple. The temple premises and adjoining locality are decorated with typical colorful flags of Buddhism. apart from the disciples of Buddha, the festival is additionally attended by many international tourists.
- Sonepur Cattle Fair
It is Asia’s largest cattle fair that’s celebrated in Sonepur and has its roots in ancient mythology and folklore. it’s believed that Chandragupta Maurya wont to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges and since then the fair is being held once a year in November. apart from being famous for the trade of domestic cattle, this festival is additionally famous for taking a holy dip within the river and offering prayer at Hariharnath Temple.
As Sonepur is situated at the confluence of river Ganga and Gandhak, it’s considered a holy site. During the fair, handicrafts and handlooms also are displayed along side folk dances and magic shows. one among the various attractions of the Sonepur cattle fair is that the sight of well-decorated elephants that are delivered to the fair with the aim of selling. per annum the fair observes an outsized number of Indian also as foreign tourists.
- Rajgir Mahotsav
An annual event, Rajgir Mahotsav may be a festival of dance and music. A three-day affair in Rajgir which is an ancient capital of the Magadha Empire in Bihar is held within the last week of October. Organized by the Tourism Department of Bihar, the event may be a cultural depiction of diverse art forms and folk dances and music of Bihar.
Many renowned artists from everywhere the planet participate within the cultural event besides organizing various engaging activities and contests like martial arts, tonga race, mehndi art, Mahila Utsav, etc. the colourful amusement of the fair attracts many tourists from round the world.
Celebrated in November, the ten-day festival Sama-Chakeva features a special significance in Mithila. It marks the bond between brothers and sisters and it begins soon after the arrival of colourful migratory birds that are regionally named Sama And Chakeva. It tells the story of Sama who is believed to be the daughter of Lord Krishna. She was falsely accused to which her father got furious, eventually punishing her by turning her into a bird.
It is believed that the love and sacrifice of her brother Chakeva helped her to urge back to human form. The festival is widely known during a unique style by representing the local kind of creating idols. The hand-made clay idols of those brother-sister birds are then immersed within the river by the women following certain rituals and traditions. Folklores being exquisite in Bihar, every festival is incomplete without folk songs. The festival ends with a wish of their return within the following year and bidding adieu (Vidai) by singing folk songs.
Also referred to as Bishari Puja, Bihula is an extrusive festival that’s celebrated within the Bhagalpur district and therefore the eastern a part of Bihar. Falling on the fifth day of Shravan Maas (August), Bihula may be a festival that proclaims the regional Manjusha Art. there’s also an intriguing fable attached to the celebration of Bihula and why Goddess Mansa is worshipped on this auspicious day. Bihula was a woman who was blessed that she is going to never be a widow, however, thanks to the conspiracy of Mansa, her husband Lakshinder died with a snakebite on the night of her wedding.
To get back her husband’s life from the Gods within the heavens, Behula sailed together with her dead husband during a raft and after reaching Heaven, she pleaded with all the Gods. She was granted to urge her husband back to life on the condition that Chand, Lakshinder’s father would provides a divine offering to Goddess Mansa. wanting to save his son’s life, Chand gave in and Mansa got the position of Goddess in heaven. She gave back the lifetime of all the six sons of Chand. Since then the ritual is being followed per annum by the people that pray to the Goddess Mansa to guard their families.
Harbinger of the monsoon season, Madhushravani is widely known everywhere Mithilanchal in August (Sawan) by worshipping the zombi Vishahara and therefore the family Goddess Gosaun. Kheer and traditional Ghorjaur along side fried vegetables, mangoes, and jackfruit are offered as prasad. During the festival, married women within the Mithila region fast for the long lifetime of their husbands, mango groves, and courtyards in Mithila are crammed with beautiful brides.
Newly married girls occupy their parent’s homes and observe a strict fast for 13 days. Traditionally, the newlywed bride is amid five married women to feast together on the savories that are sent from her husband’s home.
- Pitrapaksha Mela
Home to several temples, the Celestial City Gaya in Bihar is where the famous Pitrapaksha Mela is held. it’s considered together of the many fairs in India where rituals like taking a dip during a river, worshipping ancestors, etc are performed so as to bring salvation to the souls of the loved ones who left for heavenly abode. Observed during the month of September, Pitrapaksha Mela is held per annum for 16 days when an outsized number of individuals from different regions visit Gaya to supply prayers with utmost devotion. it’s believed that Lord Buddha was the primary one that performed the ritual of Pind Daan here and since then the tradition is being followed by many Hindus.
- Malmas Mela
Organized at Rajgir, Malmas Mela is one among the foremost significant and grand fairs in India that’s attended by an outsized number of devotees. it’s a belief that in the sacred month of Malmas, also referred to as Adhimas, the 33 crores Hindu Gods and Goddesses make their dwelling in Rajgir, and thus this era is marked with prayers and offerings for the whole month. A grand fair is organized during this era and lakhs of devotees mark this auspicious month by paying homage to the Palestine of Rajgir and taking bath during a predicament spring to scrub off their sins.