Fairs of Bihar

Fairs of Bihar characterizes the basic cultural pattern. People of Bihar are, at the core, very religious minded people who bank more on these festivals and fairs of Bihar for their mental satisfaction.

In fact, these fairs of Bihar form a means of comic-relief after the toils and hardship of daily life. Some of the important fairs of Bihar that deserve special mention are:
  • Sonepur Cattle Fair - This fair is more of a cattle trading center where people from the different parts of Bihar come together to sell and buy animals such as cattle, sheep, birds, etc. The Sonepur Cattle Fair starts early in the morning. People of Bihar after taking a dip in the absolving water join together to enjoy in this fair. In the evening, one can find a cacophony of sounds pouring in from all corners. The fair lasts for a fortnight.

  • Makar Sankranti Mela - This fair of Bihar is held in the month of Paus (mid January) in Rajgir. Another site for this fair of Bihar is the Mandar hills in Banka district. It is a common belief that the famous 'panchyajanya shell' of the Mahabharata was found here.

  • Gaya-Pitrapaksha Mela - This mela forms one of the most important fairs of Bihar. Around September, the whole of Gaya goes agog with the clamor of the tourists who gather at this site to offer the prayers to their ancestors. Tradition maintains that it was Lord Buddha who was the first to perform 'pindaan' here.
These were some of the important fairs of Bihar that plays a great role in the socio-cultural life of Bihar.

Holi in Bihar - People visit their friends and relatives in the evening. People sing hori and chaiti accompanied with jhal and dumph. Soft strains of Braj-ki-hori in accompaniment with manjira and dholak (musical instruments) are sung in some places . At times, Jogira (comic opera) is also organized. Holi coincides with Vasantotsava with air filled with the fragrance of mango flowers.

Chhath Puja - The word Chhath refers to number six in Hindi language and bears significance as the festival is celebrated on the sixth day of month of Kartika (as per the Hindu calendar). The festival usually falls in the months of October-November as per the Gregorian calendar.

Chhath Puja is celebrated by all in utmost reverence. The spirit of cleanliness rules the celebrations. During the Puja people focus on cleaning their internal selves by fasting for 36 continuous hours. The houses are cleaned properly and people go in for a holy dip on the first day of the festival which is celebrated over a span of four days. Parvaitin (the major worshipper who observes all the rituals associated with the fast) is allowed only one time meal of special components the first day. The next day, Parvaitin can only eat after the sunset and the worship of sun god in the evening and this marks the beginning of 36 hours fast for the Parvaitin. The third day is when Parvaitin is accompanied by entire family and friends to the nearby water body. Here, offerings to sun are given amidst loud noise of folk songs. The final day Parvaitin ends the fast with the final offering to the sun god after which prashad is distributed all.

Durga Puja - Mahishasura was defeated at the hands of Goddess Durga, the incarnation of Shakti or Power. This demon was almost indomitable because of a boon granted by Lord Shiva. Durga Pooja celebrates the power of goddess Durga as Mahishasurmardini. The amalgamation of the power of all the gods resulted in the birth of Goddess Durga who with the help of weapons in her 10 hands and a lion, slay the demon, ending his reign of terror. Durga Pooja symbolizes the victory of good over the evil.

Last Updated on 14 june 2013