Festivals of Bihar

The name of Bihar state is derived from the word Vihara which is a Sanskrit and Pali word and means Abode. This is because, the region that roughly encompasses the state presently was dotted with Buddhist abodes during the ancient and the medieval periods. With its history and the land of Buddha, Bihar carries a rich cultural heritage till date.

Like many other states of India, where the tradition of festivals take place for social gatherings, enjoyment, for promoting love and also for the upliftment of the society, Bihar too is no exception with its long list of festivals and celebrations at different times of the year. The festivals of Bihar are strongly associated with the traditions, cultural heritage as well as the past history of the state. Religion surely forms a basic part of the life style of the inhabitant of the state of Bihar. However, the festivals play an important role in understanding the people and the culture of the people of Bihar.

The months of Bhadon and Ashwin, is the time when most festivals take place in Bihar. People celebrate and take part in all the festivities with great enthusiasm and in free spirit. The Bihar government gives in a lot if initiative in the promotion of the festivals of Bihar utilising it as a tool for the socio economic as well as financial development of the multi communal society of the state.

The major religious festivals of Bihar are mostly related to the nature, i.e. people of Bihar worship Nature as the deity. They celebrate different religious festivals and fairs with amazing local appeal. Some of the most important festivals that the people of Bihar celebrate with utmost happiness and energy include Chatth Puja, Sama Chakeva, Ramnavami, Makar Sankranti and lot more.

Popular Festivals of Bihar

Chatth Puja

Worshipping Sun as the God has been done in many parts and civilizations. However, this worship of the Sun God finds a unique form in the state of Bihar. During Chatth Puja, people worship the setting sun, and this is the only festival where the Sun God is worshipped in this form or time. Chatth Puja is a major festival in festival for the people of Bihar, so much so that it is celebrated twice in a year, once in the month of March which according to the Hindu calendar is the month of Chaitra, and the next time during the month of November which is the Hindu month of Kartik. This festival takes place for four days. For this festival the people of Bihar maintain purity and sanctity from almost a month ahead of the celebrations. Immense faith and dedication can be seen in everyone during the celebrations of Chatth Puja. The holiness of the festival can be felt from the folk songs that are sung to please the Surya Dev or Sun God and Chatti Maiya. Women also observe fasts during the Chatth Puja for the wellbeing of their family and society.

Sama Chakeva

The festival of Sama Chakeva is celebrated with the advent of the colourful birds that migrate from the Himalayas towards the plains during the winter season. This festival finds major celebration mainly in the part of Mithila. The people of Mithilanchal celebrate this festival and dedicate it to the relationship between and brothers and sisters. The celebrations also represent the tradition of the Mithial land and their art of creating idols. The pair of birds Sama Chakeva is welcomed during this festival and this marks the beginning of the festivities. Idols of birds are made and decorated followed by a joyous celebration of the festival. By the end of the festival the people bid farewell to the birds with the hope of them returning to the land again in the coming year.

Makar Sankranti

This festival is also known as the Tila Sankranti and is celebrated on the day that is considered to be the beginning of the summer season. This usually comes around in the middle of the month of January. It is a sacred day for the Hindu devotees and they give offerings to the poor. Food and sweets are also distributed during the celebrations of this festival.


This too is a seasonal festival and it celebrates the monsoon. The month of Sawan (according to the Hindu calendar), which falls around the month of August is the time for this festival. During this festival, the worshippers of Lord Shiva, carry water from sacred water bodies and offer it to Shivlings praying for the fulfilment of their wishes.

Ram Navami

Ram Navami marks the auspicious day when Lord Rama was born. It is celebrated with lights and great passion brightening up every place of the state. Fast and prayers are also a major part of thie festival.


Bihula festivities are more prominent in the eastern part of Bihar, especially the Bhagalpur District. The Serpent Goddess Manasa is worshipped during Bihula for the welfare of families.

Apart from the religious and seasonal festivals, there are many other festivals and events that the Bihar Tourism Department actively promotes and takes part in. Some of the most popular one among those are the:

Buddha Festival

This is organised at Bodhgaya to commemorate the enlightenment spread by Lord Buddha. This attracts huge number of tourists, delegates and scholars from all over the world saluting the message of peace taught by Gautam Buddha.

Sonepur Festival

It is a cattle festival involving transactions of animals and goes on for almost a month. This festival starts is the Karthik month of the Hindu calendar on the full moon day.

Rajgir Festival

This event celebrates the historical as well as cultural significance of Rajgir, which is an ancient valley city of Bihar. During this festival, the city of Rajgir becomes an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world.

Vaishali Festival

The birth anniversary of the 24th Tirthankara of Jains is celebrated during this festival at Vaishali, on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti.

Kako Festival

It is a Sufi festival that is promoted by the state in the district of Jehanabad and has gained immense popularity.

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