Though Bihar celebrates almost all the North India festivals and National festivals, it has a few festivals of its own, unique to the state.
Every year, in the month of March, Patna celebrates Pataliputra Mahotsava. During this festival, Patna comes alive with colourful Parades, sports, dance and musical events.
Chhath is an important festival of the state and is celebrated six days after Diwali. It is a festival of prayer and propitiation observed with solemnity. It is an expression of thanks giving and seeking the blessings from the forces of nature, predominently the Sun and river. People from all castes will stand together in the river and worship the sun god. There are several folk tales, songs, and special sweets that make this festival a unique experience.
Sarhul is the most important festival for the tribals of Chotanagpur. It is celebrated with the advent of spring (February/March) when the sal tree is full bloom. These trees in the sacred grove are highly venerated and the festival centres around the holy spirits that dwell here. The focal point of the festival is to obtain a good harvest and appeasement of nature.
The Pind-daan Performed by the Gayawals in Gaya, it is considered to be an obligation of all devout Hindus to visit this place after the death of their parents, a mandatory rite believed to bring salvation to the departed souls. Though the pind-daan can be performed almost any time of the year, people prefer to do it during Pitrapaksha, which is the period just before Navratri and generally falls in September.
In the summer month of June, the people of Mithila in the village of Saurath organize a unique marriage mart in a mango grove. It is a unique gathering of Mithila Brahmins from all over India. During this fair, parents of marriagable children come here and negotiate and settle a record number of marriages for their offsprings.
Sonepur Cattle Fair
Sonepur is the venue of a two week long grand cattle fair held in the month of October/November. The fair is ranked, perhaps, as the largest cattle fair in Asia. Even elephants are changed hands. In addition to animal trade numerous shows and performances are also conducted. Visitors also pay homage at the nearby temple of Hariharnath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.