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Festivals of Bihar
 
Chatth Puja (6 days After Diwali)
Chhath (Hindi: also called Dala Chhath) is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to Surya, the Hindu Sun God, and therefore is also known as Surya Shashti. The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya, the Sun God, for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath fesival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hindu mythology, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.
Sama-Chakeva (April)
It is during the winter season that the birds from the Himalayas migrate towards the plains. With the advent of these colorful birds, celebration of sama–chakeva is done. 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. This festival starts with the welcoming of the pair of birds sama-chakeva. Girls make clay idols of various birds 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.
 
Ramnavami (April)
Sri-Ramnavami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Rama. It occurs on the ninth day (navami). The festival commemorates the birth of Rama who is remembered for his preperous and righteous reign. Ramrajya (the reign of Rama) has become synonymous with a period of peace and prosperity. Mahatma Gandhi also used this term to describe how, according to him, India should be after independence. Ramnavami occurs in the month of March. Celebrations begin with a prayer to the Sun early in the morning. At midday, when Lord Rama is supposed to have been born, a special prayer is performed.
 
Makar Sankranti (January)
Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour & gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year i.e. the 14th of January.
 
Nagpanchami (August)
Naga Panchami is dedicated to the worship of Nagas, or Snakes, and is an important festival in India in Sravan month. Naga Panchami 2010 date is August 14. Nagas are worshipped in Hindu religion and snakes are always depicted with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, two of the most popular Gods in Hinduism. Lord Vishnu lies on Snake Ananta in the milky ocean and Lord Shiva has snakes as ornament and this close association has deep symbolic meaning.
 
Bihula (August)
Bihula is a prominent festival of eastern Bihar especially famous in Bhagalpur district. There are many myths related to this festival. People pray to goddess ‘Mansa’ for the welfare of their family.This festival is observed every August and prayers are offered to Goddess Mansa. The festival nurses the brilliant Manjusha Art, which is as magnificent as the other folk arts of Bihar like Jadopetiya of Santhal Parganas and Madhubani paintings of Mithilanchal.
 
Basant Panchami (February)
Vasanth Panchami, or Basant Panjami, is a popular festival in North India which heralds the arrival of the spring season. ‘Basant’ or ‘Vasant’ means spring and ‘Panchami’ is the fifth day after Amavasi in Magh month when it is celebrated Saraswathi Pooja is performed in North and Eastern parts of India on the day. Yellow color, which symbolizes prosperity and love, is given importance on the day.
 
Shivratri (February)
Shivaratri is celebrated on the 6th night of the dark Phalgun (February or March) every year. On the auspicious day, devotees observe fast and keep vigil all night. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the 'Tandava'. It is also believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Parvati Ma. On this day Shiva devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and bel leaves on Shiva Linga.
 
Raksha Bandhan (November)
Rakhi is basically a sacred thread of protection embellished with the love and affection of a sister for her brother. This day is also known as Raksha Bandhan and celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana in India. This frail of thread of Rakhi is considered as stronger than iron chains as it binds the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust.
 
Holi (March)
The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'.
 
Buddha Jayanti (April/May)
Buddha Jayanti or also known as Buddha Purnima is the most sacred festivals of Buddhist. Buddha Purnima (Buddha Birthday) is celebrated in remembrance Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. This day is the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. It falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month (month of Vaisakh) i.e. April or May. This day commemorates three important events of Buddha's life.
 
Mahavir Jayanti (March/April)
The Jain community observes the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism with great devotion and on the occasion, special prayers are offered at the Jain temples and shrines. Mahavira Jayanti, as this day is called, falls on the 13th day of the bright half of the month of Chaitra according to the Hindu solar calendar. Mahavira Jayanti is the main Jain festival and is celebrated in March-April.
 
Durga Puja (October)
Durga Puja is an annual festival celebrated in India and the greatest festival of Bengal. It is celebrated during the month of Ashwin of the Hindu calendar which comes on during the month of late September or mid-October. Following the Hindu Solar calendar Durga Puja schedule falls on the first 9days of the month of Ashwin. The days of Puja are calculated on the basis of sun rise and sun set.
 
Deepawali (November)
Deepavali or Diwali is the major Indian occasion which is celebrated whole heartedly in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. It is also called 'Festival of Lights' as people illuminate candles, diyas on this day and celebrate the victory of good over wicked powers. The day is celebrated in throughout the world, where in Nepal it is called Tihar and Swanti. It falls in the months of October or November. In North India, the day marks the home coming of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya after the 14 years of exile. People of his kingdom celebrated his home return by lightning thousands of diyas, therefore the day has been named as 'Deepavali', which is again shortened as 'Diwali'.
 
Id (August)
Eid-ul-Fitr, popularly known as the "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast", occurs as soon as the new moon is sighted at the end of the month of fasting, namely Ramadan. This festival celebrates the end of Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting. It is an occasion of feasting and rejoicing. Fitr is derived from the word ‘fatar’ meaning breaking. Fitr has another meaning derived from another word fitrah meaning ‘alms’.
 
Sonepur Cattle Fair (Kartik Purnima/November)
A visual extravaganza awaits all at the Sonepur Fair, where multitudes congregate on Kartik Purnima to offer obeisance to Harihar Nath and participate inwhat is the biggest cattle fair in Asia. Festivities stretch over a fortnight, giving visitors a feel of the pulse of Bihar.
 
Bakrid (November)
This festival is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. Eid al-Adha occurs at the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage of millions of Muslims from around the world to Mekkah in order to worship Allah. Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Following, they visit with family and friends, and exchange greetings and gifts.
 
Christmas (December)
The word Christmas comes from the words Cristes maesse, or "Christ's Mass." Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus for members of the Christian religion. Most historians peg the first celebration of Christmas to Rome in 336 A.D.
 
Rajgir (October)
Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadhan empire in Bihar is held sacred by both Buddhists and Jains for its association with the Buddha and Mahavir. Department of Tourism, Bihar holds a colourful festival of dance and music, Rajgir Mahotsav or Dance Festival every year in Rajgir. Be it instrumental music, devotional songs, opera, folk dance, ballet or the many schools of classical dance and music, geniuses in their own realms of accomplishments, create an almost ethereal atmosphere. This festival held during last week of October attracts tourists in large numbers.
 
 
 
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