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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Bodhgaya's Bihar's Biggest Festivals – The Most Incredible Celebrations around Bodh Gaya
Joanna James Joanna James
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Bodhgaya's Bihar's Biggest Festivals – The Most Incredible Celebrations around Bodh Gaya

Bihar is one of the most renowned states in India for cultural and spiritual significance. This means that there are a variety of major festivals and celebrations that take place within the region.


Rajgir Dance Festival

India is famous for being a centre of song and dance, and if you ever find yourself in the country it is highly recommended to experience something that is a matter of national pride. This festival is also known as the Rajgir Mahotsav and is a celebration of traditional music and dance of the region. The Department of Tourism is responsible for this event, and it is one that is celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm. Rajgir was once a major capital city during the ancient history of India, so one can truly experience the city's former glory through musical performances that feature ballet, folk and classical dances, and songs performed with some fascinating instruments.


Shrawan Mela

This festival takes place in Deoghar, which lies to the south of Bihar. The celebration takes place in the Baidyanath Dham temple, which is quite a significant destination. Deoghar itself means 'home of the Gods', therefore it is a very sacred and spiritual place as it is associated with Ravana, the Demon King. The holy water of the Ganges River that flows here is considered especially sacred since the flow northwards to this region is unusual.


Kalachakara Festival

This massive celebration is organised in Bodhgaya, the renowned site where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and takes place over a course of ten days. It attracts a massive crowd and Bodhgaya hotels close to the temple such as Oaks Bodhgaya are consistently filled with bookings. The celebration consists of a lot of meditation, chants, vows, dances and prayers. It's a very peaceful occurrence. The hallmark of the festival is the preparation of a massive mandala out of several colours of sand. At the conclusion, the beautiful and elaborate work of art is undone as a reminder to the attendees of the impermanence of everything.


Nag Panchami

This celebration might not be for the faint of heart since it involves the worship of snakes. It is a Hindu festival and is observed by people throughout India as well as Nepal and other countries with a strong Hindu population. The celebration is quite prominent in Bihar, so be sure to experience the festivities if you find yourself in the state during this time. Snakes are held in very high regard by the Hindu people, and the abode of snakes is believed to be part of the seven realms of the universe which are located beneath the Earth. The celebrations are usually held in temples dedicated to Lord Shiva since snakes are commonly associated with this deity. During this festival, various depictions of serpent deities, either statues or pictures, are worshipped and given baths in milk as a sign of reverence. In North-Eastern India, the worship of Manasa is particularly prevalent. She is a powerful snake-goddess and wife of a notable Brahmin sage who is also her namesake.

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