Every Festival Tells A Story
Bihar has a plethora of festivals, except Chhath Puja and we Biharis celebrate each one of them with full devotion.
India is a land of diverse rich cultures which makes her different from other nations. Every state and region is known for some or the other such specialization or any unique feature and there comes Bihar, beholding a small India in itself. Bihar has a plethora of colorful festivals and some of which are not so known yet.
Festivals of Bihar
Bihar is a province of rich history and tract of festivals as well. The people here, do not hesitate to celebrate any occasion, which brings happiness to them or proves their love, concern and devotion. Amid the country going urbanized, Bihar still holds the roots of our spirituality and culture within. Every festival here is celebrated with tremendous zeal, incitement, elation and devotion.
That’s why it doesn’t matter wherever a Bihari moves in pursuit of job or studies, but could not afford to miss the Bihari festivals and the way Bihar celebrates any festival.
So, here is a list of the festivals, celebrated in Bihar, you must know about :
A ritual, which marks the inception of summer and the entry of the Sun from Pisces into Aries, according to the Hindu calendar. It happens between the months of Chaitra and Baisakh and is celebrated with all reverence and trust among Hindus. The name Satuani comes from “sattu” or roasted chickpea flour, so on this day, after having holy bath and performing all customs, people eat sattu, aam tikola, pickles and onion.
The Vat-Savitri puja is dedicated to Savitri, who saved her husband’s (Satyavan) life and got him back from Yama, the God of Death, under the Banyan tree. Therefore, with all veneration, the married Hindu women, on this day observe fast and pray for long life of their husbands. They wake up early, take bath, adorn themselves and go to the Banyan tree.
After performing all the rituals, they tie a red-n-yellow ceremonial thread around the Banyan tree and offer Prasad.
Being celebrated on the 2nd day after Diwali, it is Bhai dooj for other states but for Biharis, it is Godhan. In Bihar, this brother-sister bond is celebrated in an all different way. Ladies of a similar area congregate together at a place, enclosing a large rectangular structure of cowdung.
This rectangular structure includes figures like Yama(the God of death) and his sister Yami (riverYamuna) in between, others are- ants, scorpions, snakes etc., all made of cowdung. The ladies first curse their brothers to die and then repent for it by piercing their tongues with a rengni kaanta.
They tell stories related to the festival, sing folk songs, make garlands of cotton, which they crush on the cowdung’s made structures with a moosal and pray for their brothers’ long lives.
This festival celebrates the altruistic love of mother as they hold Nirjala fast throughout the day and night for well-being of her children. As per the Hindu lunar calendar, Jitiya is observed on the 8th day of Krishna Paksha of Ashwin. In this, the mothers of the same area join in for the puja at a common place and perform all the rituals, listens to katha related to the festival and pray for their children’s long life.
Teej is counted among the most religious festivals, dedicated to Goddess Parvati and her marriage with Lord Shiva. As Hindu mythology says, Goddess Parvati observed this fasting to marry Lord Shiva and after the puja, Lord Shiva took notice of her love and devotion.
So the Hindu women, following the liturgy with full adoration not eat anything and pray for long life of their husbands and their togetherness. They even offer delicacies and sing religious songs in front of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
The festival, especially belonging to Mithila region, is celebrated during winter season, starting from the 7th day of the Kartik and ending on Kartik Purnima. It has a mythological importance- once Lord Krishna’s daughter, Sama was falsely accused and punished by her father for a wrong doing.
She was turned into a bird but her brother, Chakeva’s love and sacrifice eventually allowed to regain her human form. So, the festival commemorates the bond of brother and sister and also welcomes the birds, migrating from Himalayas towards the plains. Girls welcome the advent of the migratory birds by singing Mithila’s famous Sama songs and make their colorful clay idols.
The most ancient, prominent and purest festival of Hindus in Bihar, celebrated in the month of Kartik, according to Hindu calendar. The word “chhath” means sixth in maithili and bhojpuri languages. So as the name says, it is celebrated 6 days after Diwali. This 4 days’ festival is committed to Lord Sun, his wives Devi Usha and Pratyusha, the Vedic Goddess of Dawn and Dusk respectively and Shashthi Mata (Chhathi maiya).
Every Festival Tells A Story
We thank and worship them for sustaining life on Earth and request to grant certain wishes. The person who performs Chhath, called Parvati, has to follow many rituals – holy bathing, abstaining from drinking water, fasting till the last Arghya, carrying suup to offer Prasad and Arghya to the setting and rising Sun while standing in water(ghat).