Bihar, Information about Bihar, Festivals of Bihar
Bihar Festivals
Festivals of Bihar

Bihar celebrates various religious festivals and fairs of great local appeal. Some of the fairs and festivals which are celebrated in Bihar are Buddha Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti, Makar Sankranti Mela, Pitrapaksha Mela, Sonepur Fair and Chhath or Surya Puja. The traditional Indian festivals of Ramnavami, Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are also celebrated with great extravaganza in Bihar.

Makar Sankranti Mela

The famous Makar Sankranti mela is celebrated in Rajgir in the month of January for seven days. On this day, the devotees offer flowers to the deities in the temples and bath in the holy water. The fifteen days long Makar Sankranti mela is also held in the Mandar hills in Banka district. According to legend, a great Asura once threatened the gods. The Lord Vishnu cut off the Asura’s head and piled up the body under the weight of the Mandar hill. The famous panchjanya - the sankh (counch shell) used in the Mahabharat war is believed to have been found here on the hills.

Sonepur Fair

Sonepur fair is also steeped in mythology and folklore like other ancient fairs. Sonepur Fair is the Asia's largest cattle fair which is held in Sonepur in Bihar. This month-long fair is held on Kartik Purnima, the first full moon after the festival of Diwali in the month of November. In this fair, various domestic and farm animals like elephants, camels, sheeps and birds are bought from the different parts of the country and sold. Various handicrafts and handlooms are also sold and magic shows, folk dances and contests of skill are also held. The fair attracts a large number of foreigners and Indian tourists every year. According to the legend, the Sonepur

Sonepur Fair, Sonepur

was the site of a battle between the Gaj (elephant), the lord of the forest and Garh (crocodile), the lord of the waterways.

Buddha Jayanti

The Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the Baisakh Purnima on the full moon day in the month of May. Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and passed away on the same full moon day. Thus this day is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti. Bodh Gaya and Rajgir are the two places where this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Buddha Jayanti is celebrated as a day of prayer and celebration at the Mahabodhi Temple.

Mahavir Jayanti
Mahavir Jayanti is another festival which is celebrated at Parasnath Hill in the month of April in Bihar. This day is celebrated as the birth of Lord Mahavir. This festival is also celebrated in Vaishali as Vaishali Festival.
Chhath Puja

Chhath or Surya Puja is the main festival of Bihar. This festival is held after six days of Diwali. Chhath is a festival of prayer and propitiation observed with solemnity. It is an expression of thanks giving and seeking the blessings from the forces of nature, mainly the Sun and river. The belief is that a devotee’s desire is always fulfilled during Chhath. In this festival, the people worship the Sun God. On the first day, the house is thoroughly cleaned, family members go in for a holy dip and eat strict vegetarian food and sleep on the floor. All earthen vessels are reserved for this day only. The person observing the Chaath also known as Parvati, observes dawn to dusk fast which concludes with sweets. This is followed by another fast for 36 

hours till the dawn of the final day when puja starts at the river bank much before sunrise. These parvatis remain in water from late midnight until the first ray of dawn. The rivers are flooded with offerings to the sun which is followed by breakfast and distribution among the gatherings. Fresh paddy, sweets and fruits are also offered by the devotees to the Sun God for a good harvest at the sun temple in Baragaon near Nalanda. 

Pitrapaksha Mela

The Pitrapaksha Mela is held in Gaya in the month of September. In this fair, the people came here for the worship of the ancestors as a part of the Shraddha rituals. Gayalis, the descendants of Magga Brahmans who were once devotees of Shiva but later converted to Vaishnavism perform the Sraddha ceremonies or the pindan, a mandatory Hindu rite that is supposed to bring salvation to the departed soul for the devotees. The Buddha also performed the first pindan here.

States in East India
Bihar || Jharkhand || Orissa || Sikkim || West Bengal

Information about Bihar
Introduction || History || Geography || Economy || Crafts || Cuisine || Festivals || Tourist Attractions

Cities in Bihar
Bodh Gaya || Gaya || Nalanda || Patna || Rajgir || Vaishali

Distances from Cities in Bihar
Gaya || Patna

Festivals of Bihar
Makar Sankranti Mela || Sonepur Fair || Buddha Jayanti || Mahavir Jayanti || Chhath Puja || Pitrapaksha Mela

Frequent group departures...
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