Festivals in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)
Some important festivals in Bihar :
On the day of Basant Panchami, in the month of Magh ( January-February), Saraswati pooja is held. Clay idols of Goddess Saraswati are worshipped and next day the idols are immersed.
This festival is celebrated on 14th in the month of January. People of Bihar celebrate this festival by consuming Dahi-Chura and Tilkut. They also eat a mix of rice and lentils known as Khichri. This festival is related to the movement of the Sun towards the Northern hemisphere.
This festival marks the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati and is celebrated in all the parts of North, Central, East and West India.
This festival falls in month of Phalgun (March-April) during the Chaturdashi (fourteenth day) of Krishna Paksh.
Unmarried girls keep fast on this day and worship Shiv-Parvati.
This is celebrated on the 9th day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra (April) to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama. A flag with Hanumana insignia is unfurled in courtyard, temples and all sacred places.
This festival is celebrated in entire North India in Phalgun month (March-April.) It comes in spring season and celebrated on the full moon night.Holika Dahan takes place on that night.
The next day in celebrated as Holi where people play with colours thus making the arrival of the colourful spring reason.Holi in Bihar is celebrated with much enthusiasm. It encourages people to forget individual differences and live together in harmony.
Vaishali in Bihar is the birthplace of Lord Mahaveera, the 24th Tirthankar.
His birth is celebrated on 13th day of Chaitra Shukla Paksha.
Religious discourse are held at Jain temples on this occasion. It is also called VaishaliMahotsav.
It is celebrated in Shravan ( July-August) by newly married women for the long and healthy life of their husbands. It is mostly celebrated in Mithila region.
This day is celebrated to commemorate Buddha’s enlightenment day. It is celebrated on the full moon day.
Lord Buddha’s preaching are discussed at this occasion. It is celebrated in Bodh Gaya with lot of vigour as it is place of Nirvana of Gautam Buddha.
This festival falls in Bhadrapad ( July-August) on third day of Shukl Paksh. It is celebrated by married women whose husband is alive.Women keep fast and worship Parvati and pray for the long life of their husbands.
This festival is also celebrated in entire North-India. It falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Shravan ( July-August). It marks the special bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters tie a sacred thread on the hands of their brothers and brother promise to protect their sister always.
This festival falls is the month of Shravan ( July-August) on the fifth day (Panchami) of that month.
In Bihar, it is especially celebrated in the region of Mithila and Ang. It is also known as ‘Vishhara’On this day, snakes (Nag) are fed with milk.
It is a famous festival of Eastern Bihar especially in Bhagalpur district. There are many myths related to this festival. People pray to Goddess Mansa for the welfare of their family.
This festival falls in the month of Bhadrapadh (August-September). This festival continues for nine days. People bring ideals of Indra and worship it for nine days. Fair at Madhubani is held during the period of Indra Puja.
This festival falls is the month of Bhadrapadh (August- September) and is celebrated in Mithilanchal region.
Women prepare sweet delicacies and keep fast on this day. Pidakiya, i.e. a mixture of semolina is prepared on this day.
This puja is performed every year on 17th September. Vishwakarma in Hindu religion is considered the divine architect who is skillful enough to create the world.
On this day, the tools,machines and vehicles are worshipped. People worship the God to give them skills and craftsmanship.
This is celebrated on 8th day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Ashwin (September-October).
It is a festival in which Nirjala (without water) fasting is done throughout day and night by mothers for the well being of their children. A three day long festival is celebrated. It is also known as Jivitputrika.
It is the main festival of Bengal. In Bihar also it is celebrated with much interest. Beautiful clay idols of Goddess Durga are worshipped during Ashwin month (September- October).
On the day of Vijayadashmi, these idols are immersed in river as the Goddess bids farewell and returns back to her husband’s home.
It is celebrated to symbolise conquering the evils.On the 10th day of Shukla Paksha in Ashwin month (September- October) it is celebrated.
On this day, Rama had returned home after conquering Ravana.
Thus, Ravana,Meghnada and Kumbhakarna’s effigies are burnt. Goddess Durga had killed Mahisasur demon on this day.
This festival falls in the month of Kartik (October-November) on the ninth day (Navami) of Sukla Paksh. It is celebrated in the region ofMithilanchal. People worship Amla tree (Gooseberry) on this day as it is believed to be the place of Gods abode.Women also prepare food below the Amla tree on this day.
It falls in the month of Kartik (October-November) one day after Deepawali. This festival is celebrated to strength the bond of brother and sister.
It is celebrated in the month of Kartik on Amavasya (October-November). Both Hindus and Jains celebrate this festival.
Hindus celebrate it as day of Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.
Jains celebrate it as Nirvan Diwas of Lord Mahaveer. A festival of light,Diwali follows Dhanteras when people buy new untensils.On the day of Diwali,Goddess Laxmi and God Ganesha are worshipped.
It is celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra by lifting the Govardhan hill. It is celebrated on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartik (October- November) according to the Hindu calendar.
This is the most important festival of Bihar state. It is celebrated after six days of the Deepawali festival, during the month of Kartik. This festival is believed to be started by the Karna, King of Anga.
During this festival Sun God is worshipped as it is strongly believed that it will cure all the diseases and ensure longevity and prosperity of everyone.
The eldest person of a family or prominent person of a family/keep fast without water for 42 hours from the dawn of the Sun of day to the setting of the Sun, the next-day.
Fruits, vegetables and other foods are offered to the God. The worship of Sun God is done by standing knee deep in river or pond.On this occasion, women sing folk songs in the honour of Surya Dev and ChhathiMaiyya.
The occasion resembles a carnival. For several days, regional folk songs are sung.
The Chhath Puja is also called Surya Sashti and holds special significance in culture of Bihar. Fairs are organised at Surajpur in Nalanda, Badhgaon and Den in Aurangabad on this occasion.
It is celebrated in the month of Jyestha by married women for the long life of their husbands.Women worship Savitri and Brahma below the oak tree and tie sacred threads around the tree. They also keep fast on this day. It is celebrated mainly in Mithilanchal.
It falls in the month of November.
People take a holy dip on the confluence of Ganga and Gandak river in Sonepur and Hajipur. This day is also called auspicious as Lord Vishnu came at this place to save an elephant from the clutches of a crocodile.
On the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Kartik (October-November) month, God is worshipped by sugarcane, gur and sugarbeet. God awakens after 4 months of sleep on this day.
It is the biggest festival of Muslims that marks the end of Ramzan the Islamic holy month of fasting. They keep fast for 30 days and after the last day of Ramzan, Eid is celebrated. Sevai is eaten and new clothes are worn on this occasion. During Ramzan month, the composition of holy Quran was completed.
It is observed as a day of martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain Ibn Ali and his family members in the Battle of Karbala.Muharram is the name of first month of Arabic calendar.
It is observed for first 10 days of Islamic calendar. The followers carry procession and distribute food among poor. This month is a symbol of sacrifice in which Muslims sacrifice everything for truth.
It is also known as the festival of the Sacrifice. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.
Eid-al-Adha is celebrated in the last month of the Islamic calendar.
It is a popular festival of Bihar which is celebrated in month of Kartik. This is a festival especially celebrated in Mithila.
Mithilanchal dedicates this festival to the celebration of the brother-sister relationship. It represents the tradition of this land as well as the art of making idols.
Girls make clay idols of various seasonal birds which migrates from Himalayas and decorate them in their own traditional ways. Various rituals are performed and the festival joyfully ended with the ‘vidai’ of sama and with a wish that these birds return to this land the next year.
This festival falls in the month of December. It is celebrated by the Sikh community. The festival marks the birth of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh on 22nd December, 1666. People light candles in gurudwaras and huge procession also takes place on this day.
It is the biggest festival among Christians. It is celebrated on 25th December every year. Jesus Christ was born on this day. Easter festival is also celebrated by the Christians which is believed to be Christ’s resurrection day.
On both these festivals, Christians go to church and pray Jesus Christ.While Christmas is celebrated with much pomp and show, Easter is celebrated by praying.
Easter falls on the sunday after Good Friday.
Chitra Gupta Puja
In Bihar, Chitra Gupta is considered the divine accountant so this festival is celebrated by worshipping the books and pen. It is mainly celebrated by Kayasthas who were considered to engage in knowledge related work. It is celebrated on the next day after Bhai dooj (in Kartik month).
It is celebrated in Sharad Purnima mainly in Mithila region.Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha are worshipped during this day by newly married couple to bring prosperity in the house. Sweets and butter have special importance during this festival.
Fairs in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)
Fairs are organised in Bihar on various occasions or festivals at pilgrim places.
Following are some important fairs held in Bihar:
It is held every year in Chaitra (April) month on Ramnavami. Rama, Sita and Hanuman are worshipped on this day. Ram-Janki marriage is celebrated at this time.
This fair is held in Chaitra Trayodashi (April) in Vaishali. Jains from all over the country gather here. Scholarly conference and discussion takes place here.
It is held in Saurath village in Madhubani district in Jyestha-Asharh (May-June) month. In this fair, eligible young boys and girls come with their parents for marriage association. If both parties accept, then marriage takes place after the fair ends. This fair continues for fifteen days. Astrologers,match maker and scholarly also give their services for marriage associations.
This is one of the biggest fairs in India. It is a month long fair. The Malmas fair is organised in Rajgir. Tourists who visit this fair also bathe in many of the Rajgir’s Kund (hot springs).
It is held in Banka at Mandar hill foothills. Lord Vishnu had bathed in a holy kund at Baunsi. People gather here to take bath in this kund.
In this fair during the dark fortnight of the month of Ashwin (September- October), offering is made to ancestors in order to get salvation and peace of their soul in district Gaya.
Here, the followers of Hindu religion gather from different places.Here, the offering are made at Vishnupad temple which is meant for this very purpose.
It is held in Chaitra Shukla Paksha Navami (Ramnavami). Lord Rama and Laxman had come here in Treta Yuga and took education from Vishwamitra. A large number of people visit here.
Baba Brahmeshwarnath Fair
It is held in Brahmapur village in Buxar district.On Shivratri and Baishakh (October-November) Krishna Paksha Ekadashi, it is held twice a year. It is an animal fair, in which people first pour water on Brahmeshwarnath and then throng fair.
This is the largest and oldest fair of Bihar.
This fair is started from Kartik Purnima (October-November) and ends after one month. This is the largest animal fair of Asia. It started from 1850 cattle, bull, elephant, horse are bought and sold in large numbers.
Foreigners also come in large numbers to visit this fair. Sonepur fair is also known as Harihar Kshetra mela. It has religious and cultural significance and shows rural background.
Diwali Fair/Pawapuri Fair
Pawapuri is situated in Nalanda district.Here,Mahaveer, the 24th Jain tirthankar had got Nirvana.
On Diwali, a big fair is held on this occasion. A large number of Jain people come in this fair.
It is held in Simariya village in Begusarai district in the month of Kartik (October-November).Ganga bath and later on giving alms is a major ritual followed in this fair.
It is also known as Kalpavas fair as pilgrims from all over India,Nepal and Bhutan come here and live on the banks of Ganga in houses made of grass hay. In a year, two fairs are held here.
Patna Sahib Gurudwara Fair
Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru was born in Patna. It is a pious place for Sikhs from all over the country.On Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday, Sikhs gather to celebrate.
Thus, a big fair is held at this place.
Patna Book Fair
It was started in 1971. Since 1988, this fair is organised regularly at every second year. It is organised by National Book Trust (NBT) to inculcate the habit of reading books.
This fair is celebrated by Tharus. It is organised in old temple of mother Subhadra at Sahodra inWest Champaran district.
Singheshwar Sthan Fair
This fair is held in Madhepura district. Singheshwar Sthan is quite famous for Shiva temple.On Shivratri, people come to pour water over Shivlinga here. A big fair is organised along with an animal fair at this place.
This fair takes place in Nalanda district. It is organised during the Chhath Puja.
People bath and take a dip in a pond situated here after which they offer prayers to Sun God. Similar fairs are held during Chhath Puja in Aurangabad, Patna, Bhojpur and several other places of Bihar.
Aries Equinox Fair (Mesh Sankranti Fair)
This fair is also known as Satuani, Satua Sanskrati or Sirua-Visua in different parts of the state.On this day,Navanna Bhazava festival is also celebrated.
On this day, flour of barley-gram,mango, seasonal fruits, fans and pitchers are sold and purchased. This fair is celebrated throughout Bihar but its relevance is more in Kakolat.
This fair is held in the monsoon months of Shravan-Bhadrapad.The fair covers a distance of 105 kilometers as people draw water from Sultanganj in Bihar and travel all the way to Devghar in Jharkhand where they offer water to Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga (Shiv ling). People from all over Bihar and Jharkhand to take part in this ritual.
Other Fairs in Bihar
It is held in Jhanjharpur during Shivratri in the month of February or March.
It is held in Khagaria on the occasion of Gopashtami.
It is held in Muzaffarpur district during Shivratri every year.
Maharani Tripur fair
It is held in Bettiah city. It is an animal fair which is held during the occasion of Dussehra for 15-20 days.
It is held in Bhagalpur by Sabour Agriculture University showcasing new varieties of fruits and vegetables developed.
It is held by Santhal tribal group in Bihar. It is celebrated in Poush (December-January) to mark the arrival of new crops. It is held for five days.
it is held in Muzaffarpur district during Shivratri.
Mahotsav in Bihar (Bihar GK in English)
Many festivals are held in large scale in Bihar. They are called Mahotsavs. Some of the important mahotsavs in Bihar are:
It takes place in the fort of Ajatshatru at Rajgir. It was first organised in 1986.
Due to some reasons, it was not organised from 1989 to 1994. It was restarted from the year 1995.Now, it is organised every year for the encouragment of historical and heritage tourism in Bihar. A dance festival is organised on this occasion.Other cultural activities are also encouraged.
Patliputra Natya Mahotsav
This is held every year either in February or March. The first Natya Mahotsav was held in 1985 in Patna. It is celebrated to encourage theater.NGO ‘Prayas’, State Government and Central Government together organise this festival to promote theatre in Bihar. It is held at Kalidas Rangalaya in Patna.
To commemorate the ancient university of Bihar, the government organises the Vikramshila Mahotsav. It was organised in 2007 in Bhagalpur district. The utsav is organised by tourism department.
Many cultural events are organised to mark the festival. Vikramshila is known as Shrimadvikramsheeldev Mahavihara according to the Tibetan texts.
Patna Sahib Mahotsav
It is organised by the tourism department of Bihar. It is a two day event celebrated annually. It is held in Patna every year. It is held around Baisakhi near Patna Sahib which is the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh.
On 14th January, every year, the Tapovan Mahotsav is celebrated at Tapovan. The festival began from 2015.
It is visited by people from all over Bihar. Tapovan is a place in Bihar, 18 km from Rajgir. Four sons of Brahma,meditated at this place so the place has a lot of religious significance.
This festival is organised in memory of the first freedom movement under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi. This festival holds special significance for its historical value. It was the place where indigo farmers revolted against British.
Vanavar is situated in Jehanabad district and is also known as Barabar. Vanavar is a group of hills that is famous for caves, sculptures, scriptures and other artefacts related to Mauryan period. The place also has Siddheshwar temple and a pond known as Patalganga.
The caves are 2500 gears old and are granite rock cut caves. The Vanavar Mahotsav celebrates the culture, art tradition and history of Bihar. People from Sri Lanka,Myanmar, Japan, Bhutan come to visit this place during the mahotsav.
The Mandar Mahotsav is organised under Mandar hill in Banka district. Mandar hill was used as Churner to churn out the wealth from the sea during Samudra- Manthan.
Therefore this place has religious significance. There is a holy pond nearby which is believed to wash away the sins. People take a dip in this holy pond and do charity to lead a better life.
This mahotsav celebrates the birth place of Lord Mahavira i.e Vaishali. A fair is organised on this occasion during the month of Chaitra (March-April) on the thirteenth day.
Jain pilgrimage consists of a visit to Vaishali. The occasion is marked by cultural programs, discussions, possessions on the life of Mahavira.
People come in this mahotsav in large numbers. In this mahotsav, things belonging to Jain religion like paintings, books, etc.
Maner Sharif and Makhdum
This event is organised to showcase the cultural heritage of Mithila i.e. the Madhubani paintings that are renowned all over the world.
It is celebrated every year and is organised by Tourism Department of Bihar and Cultural Heritage and Youth Works.Department of Bihar. Students and people interested to learn the art of Madhubani paintings, attend this festival in large number.
Saheb Ka Urs
The festival of Urs is celebrated on two different dates in Maner and Bihar Sharif Maner is named after Makhdum Saheb Yayiya Shah Maneri. He is remembered as a sufi saint so Hindus and Muslims both pay their visit to the holy shrine and pay homage to the saint.