(Last Updated on : 13/08/2012)
Bihar is one of the major states in eastern India. There are many villages in Bihar and a majority of the state's total population lives in the villages. The villages of Bihar present a diverse social and cultural scenario and there is a social, religious and political harmony found among the villagers. The villagers celebrate all types of festivals together, irrespective of their religions and castes.
The villages of Bihar are spread in the 38 districts of the state. The villages can be classified according to the districts of their location like villages in Madhepura district, villages in Madhubani district, villages in Aurangabad district, villages in Muzaffarpur district, villages in Nalanda district, villages in Nawada district, villages in Bhagalpur district, villages in Patna district, villages in Bhojpur district, villages in Darbhanga district, villages in Gaya district, villages in Shiekhpura district, villages in Katihar district, villages in Kishanganj district, villages in Lakhisarai district, etc.
As far as education is considered several schools, colleges and other educational institutes have been set in the villages of Bihar. However, agriculture remains the main occupation of these villages. Most of the people in the villages of Bihar are engaged in cultivating the crops like paddy, wheat, dalhan, telhan, onion, potato, lentils, sugarcane, mangoes, etc. Another common occupation of the villagers is animal husbandry. Many villagers in Bihar earn their livelihoods form farming and that has made Bihar one of the leading states in India for producing cattle, goats, cows, etc. However, there are also many villagers who are engaged in the other occupations like business, pottery, cottage industry, brick manufacturing industry, etc. Some of the villagers also go to the nearby towns occasionally to work as labourers in various factories.
The people in the villages of Bihar worship various gods and goddesses in their village temples. A temple can be found in an isolated place in almost all the villages of Bihar and the villagers believe that the village deity will save them from any kind of natural calamities and other problems. The village deity is also considered to be the protector and well wisher of the village. The gods and goddesses worshipped most commonly in the villages of Bihar include Lord Shiva, Ganesh, Kaali, Vishnu, Hanuman, etc. Apart from the village temples, there are also holy places of other religions like Masjids, Churches, etc. established in many villages in Bihar.
The villagers in Bihar celebrate different kinds of religious and social festivals together. The fairs and festivals have always been an essential part of village life in Bihar and they act as a wonderful platform for social communication and enjoyment for the people of Bihar. There are several captivating myths and legends connected with the foundation of these fairs and festivals. While some of the festivals are of religious nature and attracts several pilgrims from every parts of India, some festivals represent the cultural wealth of the state. The social festivals of Bihar are vivacious in multitude of colours and forms. There are many festivals in Bihar linked with the lifestyle of the people, with change of seasons and harvesting. The most common fairs and festivals in the villages of Bihar include the Chhath Fasting, the Hari Har Dham, Durga Puja, the Makar Sankranti Mela, the Nag Panchami Festival, Vaisakhi or Joor Sital, the Pitrapaksha Mela, the Sonepur Mela, etc. However, Holi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Bihar.
The villages of Bihar are quite picturesque and also present a wonderful view of village life. The people live in great communal harmony in the villages of Bihar and they represent the real picture of unity in diversity in India.