Raas Mela in Cooch Behar District
The most ancient fairs of Cooch Behar district is Raas Mela. Raas Yatra of Sri Sri Madan Mohan Thakur is celebrated annually in the month of Kartik of Bengali calendar, after the Durga Puja. During this fair Lord Krishna is worshipped in the form of Madan Mohan. Raas mela attracts a number of pilgrims from the country irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. The temple is beautifully adorned and this traditional fair continues for about fifteen days which brings joy and frolic in the lives of people attending the fair.
Ratha Yatra in Cooch Behar District
Ratha Yatra is another grand fair celebrated in Asardh month of Bengali calendar in Cooch Behar. It is also celebrated in the honour of Sri Sri Madan Mohan. During Ratha Yatra, the deity rides from the main temple to the house of his maternal aunt at Gunjabari (in the city) for one week. After a week, Ulta Rath is celebrated where the deity is taken back to the main temple. The fair is characterized by pomp and grandeur. Another attractive feature of the fair is also the exhibition which displays a number of village handicrafts suiting to the varying taste and needs.
Baradebi Mela in Cooch Behar District
Baradebi Mela is celebrated after Ratha Yatra in the honour of Sri Sri Baradebi. It is also an age old fair held at Devibari of Cooch Behar. The temple of Baradebi is an ancient one, established in 16th century. In the past, the grandeur of the fair was hugely famed owing to the display of royal throne, royal scepter and royal bedstead which have ceased by now. The exhibition of these royal symbols added to the charm of the fair.
Durga Puja in Cooch Behar District
Durga Puja is the grandest and most significant festival of Bengalis. The spirit of this festival can be well experienced in the district of Cooch Behar also. A number of fairs are also organized during Durga Puja in the month of Ashwin of Bengali calendar.
Dol Purnima in Cooch Behar District
Another traditional fair is organized in Phulbari within Tufangunj is Dol Purnima. It is celebrated in the month of Chaitra of Bengali calendar. The fair is an ideal place for uniting the religious diversity of the district as it attracts a number of people belonging to different religions.
Annapurna Puja in Cooch Behar District
It is an ancient festival where Sri Sri Annapurna is worshipped along with the celebration of a month long fair. The fair is however not celebrated these days.
Muharram in Cooch Behar District
Celebration of Muharram is celebrated with grandeur in Dinhata town of the district. A fair is organized during this festival after Tajiyas have been rotated around the town. Lathi khela serves as the man attraction of the fair and attracts a plethora of people from the district.
Shivaratri Mela in Cooch Behar District
Shivaratri Mela is held in the month of Phalguna of Bengali calendar. A number of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva were built in West Bengal in the period when Shaiva cult had spread in the state. During Shivaratri, a number of pilgrims visit Baneswar temple and attend the grand fair organized in Baneswar. Shivaratri fairs are also organized at Mathabhanga and Dhaluabari.
Astami Snan Mela in Cooch Behar District
An annual fair is held in Ambari village of the district, situated along the bank of Gadadhar River. It is a popular belief that, on Shukla Astami of the month of Chaitra in Bengali calendar, enlightenment can be achieved by taking a dip in the holy Brahmaputra River. The fair is thus held at confluence of Gadadhar and Kaljani River and is characterized by various ritual practices. It is one of the most ancient fairs and is also organized at Kalighat near Sitalkuchi town.
Other Fairs of Cooch Behar District
Apart from this, other fairs celebrated in the district are Baruni Snan Mela, Agricultural Fair, Book Fair, Flower and Fruit Shows, Hujur Saheb Mela and Sri Panchami Mela.
Fairs of Cooch Behar play a significant role in uniting the diverse cultures, religions and ethnicities of the country as a number of people, irrespective of caste and creed, gather here. Cultural diversity of India is greatly represented through them. They also enrich the cultural heritage of India greatly.