The religious festivals of Bihar tend to draw pilgrims from the remotest parts of the country. While the tribal festivals showcase the cultural wealth of the state. Other than these, there are some festivals, which are even linked to the lifestyle of the people, change of seasons and harvesting. Discussed elaborately below are some of the popular festivals of Bihar:
One of the most ancient and major festivals of Bihar, the Chhath Puja is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival that is dedicated to the Sun God and his sister Chhathi Maiya. Observed over a period of 4 days, Chhath is an arduous observance, requiring the worshipers to fast without a sip of water for around 36 hours continuously.
The festival involves worshipping the rising and setting sun. It is celebrated twice a year: the Chaiti Chhath is celebrated once in the summers, and once during the winter, a week after Deepawali, called the Karthik Chhath. During this festival the local people of Bihar sing folk songs in the honour of the Sun God and his sister Chhathi Maiya and the harmonious melody of the lyrics lets one immerse in the sanctity and the purity of this auspicious occasion.
One of the popular festivals of Bihar, Sama Chakeva celebrates the loving relationship between the brothers and sister. Known to have its origin from the Mithila region, the Sama Chakeva is mainly celebrated during the winter months. The celebrations start from the night of the Karthik Chhath when young girls perform different rites and rituals and sing Sama songs, which are popular in the region.
They also make colourful clay idols of various birds and decorate them in their own traditional ways. By the end of the rituals, the girls supposed to take a dip in the river along with idols which are submerged in the water.
Sonepur Cattle Fair
Having its root in ancient mythology and folklore, the Sonepur Cattle Fair is the Asias largest cattle fair which takes place in the town of Sonepur in Bihar. It is held on Kartik Purnima that is the first full moon after the festival of Diwali. In this fair, domestic cattle like elephant, camel, sheep and birds are brought in from around the country and sold here. Apart from this, varied handicrafts and handloom stalls are also put up, along with magic show and folk dances. It is also one of the important festivals of Bihar that attracts a large number of foreign tourists each year.
One of the holiest festivals of Bihar, also known as Dawat Puja, the Chitragupta Puja involves the worshipping of books and pen, which symbolise the importance of education in the lives of the people. It was according to the Hindu mythology, the entire world was created by Lord Brahma, the Creator of Universe. Lord Brahma first created 16 sons from various parts of his own body.
Thus, Chitragupta is believed to be the creation from the belly of Lord Brahma. Thus, Chitragupta is the divine incarnation in human form, he works in close assistance with Lord Yama and keeps an account of all human beings on earth and judges them after their death.
Prominent in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar, the Bihula Festival is popularly celebrated in the eastern part of the state. The Hindu Goddess Manasa is worshipped as a part of this festival to protect the devotees family. The Bihula Festival is observed mainly during the month of August and celebrates the brilliant Manjusha Art, which is as magnificent as any other art forms found in Bihar.
This religious Hindu festival is celebrated in the whole country along with the state of Bihar. This auspicious day is observed to mark the birth of Lord Rama. The people of Bihar celebrate this sacred festival by observing fasts and prayers in his honour. In the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh early morning rituals marks this sacred ceremony. During this festival the people of Bihar sing and chant the name of Lord Rama. The devotees indeed have a highly colourful ceremony to mark the beginning of the wedding celebrations.
One of the most important festivals is a month long ritual observation in Bihar, that is the Shravani Mela which is held annually in the Hindu month of Shravan. It is celebrated in the Mithilanchal of Bihar with much exuberance and veneration. This festival of Bihar carries a special message with itself and teaches how to blend together both religion and tradition in regular life.
The festivals of Bihar transcend age, caste, gender and promote a sense of unity among the people. Some of the other important festivals of Bihar are Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Buddha Purnima, Makar Sankranti and Holi along with popular Muslim festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, which are celebrated with equal pomp and enthusiasm.
|More ArticlesFestivals of Bihar (4)|
Festivals of Bihar