Fairs and Festivals of Bihar
Bihar has a long list of celebrations. These fair and festivals are divided into two parts, seasonal and permanent. Seasonal fairs are those which are held in the particular season and the time of such fairs is determined by the lunar calendar, whereas permanent fairs those which are held throughout the year once or twice a week. Seasonal fairs are basically religious in character, whereas permanent fairs are commercial in its composition.
The festival is celebrated twice a year; once in summer (May – June), called Chaiti Chhath, and once in winter (October – November) around a week after Deepawali, and it is called the Kartik Chhath. No one say with any accuracy how long ago the tradition of Chhath started, but a similar ritual has found mention in the Hindu epics. Some say the festival was started by Karna of Mahabharata time. While others describe it to a saint who wished to thanks God Surya (Sun) for curing his eyesight.
Today, Chhath Puja is the biggest and most popular of the state’s festivals. This is when Bihar throws its biggest party of the year; trains and flights in to the state are packed, cultural performances abound, and there’s a festive vibe everywhere in the state. The actual festival takes place over four days. The devout observing a fast for the duration and conclude the festival in any river, pond or in lake. Beside the main worshiper, there are friends and family, numerous participants and onlookers, all willing to help and receive the blessings of the worshipper. This all make Chhath Festival as a carnival of faith and worship, which is unique in world.
We at Visit Bihar operate a guided tour to witness the famous Chhath Festival during your stay in Bihar. We provide access to a Bihari family where Chhath Puja is been performed along with arrangements of accommodation and other facilities.
Sonepur Fair : –
Sonepur fair is one of the most astonishing cattle fairs to be held in Asia in terms of its size and scale. The sleepy little town of Sonepur (22 km from Patna) is thrown into a frenzy on Kartik Purnima, a fortnight after Diwali as people from all over the world congregate to participate in this huge event. It has all the fun and colour of a huge festival and is enjoyed by all.
Sonepur Fair is the only one where such a large number of elephants are sold. These are mainly purchased by different forest departments and people involved with logging operations. Apart from elephants, a large number of cattle, a wide variety of animals and horses are also brought to the fair for sale. Legends are also bought and sold in the fair.
The fair continues for about fourteen days but the few days before and after the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima draw the maximum crowds. The sleepy mango grove, where the fair is organized, turns into a wonderland, sure to overwhelm the sophisticated
Urban visitor as well as the simple rural folk.
Makar Sakranti Fair :
Makar Sakranti fair is another unique fair which is held at Rajgir, Bihar in the month of Paush, corresponding to mid January. Devotees make flower offering to the deities of the temple at the Hot springs and bathe in the holy water.
Another historic place associated with fifteen day long Makar Sakranti Mela or Baunsi Mela at Mandar Hills in the Banka district.
Bihula, or Bishahri Puja takes place mostly on the eastern parts of Bihar, especially in the Bhagalpur region. The festival is centered around the tale of Bihula, a woman who saved her family from venomous snakes. On this day, worshippers offer prayers to Goddess Mansa, who is said to offer protection from snake bites. The festival is also closely linked to the Manjusha Paintings that depict the legend of Bihula and Mansa.
Madhushravani is festival of Mithila region which held during the month of Shravan (July to August). The rituals of Madhushravani are performed primarily by new brides. Snake worship is part of the celebration and this festival continued for 15 days.
This festival is celebrated in the Mithila region of Bihar dedicated to the brother- sister relationship. It is time when birds migrate from the Himalayas to the plains heralding the beginning of this festival with the girls making and decorating clay idols of various birds and kitchen item.
Ramanavami festival is celebrated with traditional reverence and gaiety in Bihar with people observing seven days fasts. This is the auspicious day when lord Rama was born. Temples dedicated to Lord Rama are beautifully decorated and special prayers are carried out.
Shravani Mela :
Shravani Mela is organized along the 108-km route that links Sultanganj and Deoghar in Jharkhand in the Hindu month of Shravan, that is the lunar month of July-August. Lakhs of “Kawarias” of pilgrims, wearing saffron, collect water from the sacred river Ganga at Sultanganj and walk barefoot to Deoghar in Jharkhand where they bathe a sacred Shivalinga with the water brought from Sultanganj-as their holy offering or service.
Saurath sabha is held at every year for a fortnight in the month of June, the village of Saurath in Madhubani district witness a unique gathering of Mithila Brahmins from all over India. It is called Saurath Sabha and biggest market of Marriage. Parents of marriageable children bring horoscopes and negotiate marriages in a vast mango grove.
The Hilly Retreat or The ancient capital of Magadha Kings – RAJGIR; host colorful festival of dances and music during the last week of December every year. This festival is known as Rajgir Mahotsav. This festival comes up with vibrant classical and folk art and culture performances. The live performance by artist in ancient Magadha capital gives Rajgir Mahotsav an ultimate destination for the connoisseurs of Indian Cultural form of expression of the self.
During Rajgir Mahotsav a visitors got chance to see variety of events. Rajgir host artisans from all across country with their traditional handicrafts. Every day Classical music and dances are performed by well renowned artists. The occasion is almost as a carnival.
We at Visit Bihar operate tours during Rajgir Mahotsav. Our tours cover the live artistic performance in the Event programs with guided tour to historic city of Rajagriha or Rajgir.
Event during Rajgir Mahotsav
- Classical Dance and Music,
- Folk Dance and Music,
- Bollywood Singers,
- Handicraft Stalls
- Tonga Race
- Local Cuisines and Many More
There are other scheduled fair and festival which is operated by Department of Tourism, Government of Bihar. These are:
- Surya Festival, Deo, Aurangabad
- Baba Koteswar Mahadev Festival, Bela, Gaya
- Singheshvar Mahotsav, Madhapura
- Koshi Festival, Saharsa
- Vaishali Festival, Vaishali
- Mundeshwari Festival, Kaimur
- Thawe Festival, Gopalganj
- Vikramshila Festival, Bhagalpur
- Patna Shaib Festival, Patna
- Sitamarhi Festival, Sitamarhi
- Lachuwar Festival, Jamui
- Sufi Festival, Maner, Patna
- Sufi Festival, Kako
- Ugratara Festival, Mahishi, Saharsa
- Vanabar Festival, Barabar, Jehanabad
- Ahilya Gautam Festival, Darbhanga
- Mithila Lok Festival, Darbhanga
- Munger Festival, Munger