Gaya is a vibrant city which is home to numerous different cultures. Each festival and fair in gaya is celebrated with great joy and love by each community residing there. Gaya is not only known for its ancient temples and historical monuments but it is also popular for its incredibly colourful representation of various cultures and traditions.
Chatth Puja –
This is undoubtedly one of the most popularly celebrated puja in the entire state of Bihar. This ancient Hindu festival is dedicated to the sun god or Surya and takes place generally 6 days after the festival of lights, diwali. This is a way of thanking the sun lord for being the life source on earth. The day marked by observing a fast which lasts from dawn to dusk and ends at a sweet note by gorging on a range of delectable sweets and mithais. Devotees pay homage to the sun god by performing the surya namaskar inside the water body and is paints a beautifully vibrant picture.Sama Chakeva – Celebrated diligently during the months of winter, this festival marks the migration of the birds from the Himalayas to the plains. This festival is specifically celebrated among the mithila population who also use this occasion to mark the relationship of every brother and sister. The festival kicks off by welcoming a pair of birds who are named sama and chakeva. Girls mark this occasion by creating an idol for the birds and decorating them in their own special manner. After the rituals are done the festivities gain momentum in complete splendor and vigor. the events ends by performing the vidaai of Sama with wishing that the birds return back the following year.
Shravani Mela –
Celebrated during the shravan months of July or August this festival or rather a mela is one of the most highly revered celebrations in the entire Bihar region. This is considered to be an extremely vital festival which takes place throughout the month and is held all along the 108 kms of road which links the towns of Deogharh and Sultanganj. The devotes or pilgrims taking part in this festival are known as kawariyas who wear saffron colored clothing item and collect the holy water from the sacred ghats with an aim of carrying them barefoot along this stretch.
Makar Sankranti –
This grand festival is held each year at Rajgir in the winter month of January. This festival is celebrated when the devotees make offerings of flowers to the temples and complete the process by taking a holy dip in the water. As per legends, an asura was once a huge threat to the gods and Lord Vishnu had cut off his head. He had also piled up the place under the heavy weight of Mandar hill. The extremely popular panchjanya – the conch shell that was used to commence the great Mahabharata was also discovered here. This is one of the most popular festivals held in the state.
Pitrapaksha Mela –
The festival is held each year in Gaya religiously, during the month of September. During this time of the festival people from all over the country come together as one and worship their by gone ancestors which is a part of their shraddha ritual. The descendants of Magga Brahmans perform this ceremony and are one of the most vital and extremely mandatory Hindu rituals which are done with the goodwill of bringing salvation to the soul that is departed. This tradition can be dated back to the times of Lord Buddha who is supposed to have performed his very first pind daan right here.
Buddha Jayanti –
Celebrated during the summer month of May during the eve of Baisakh purnima or full moon day. This day marks the birth of Siddhartha Gautam as well as the day he attained his enlightenment and even passed away during a full moon night. This is celebrated with great pomp and show by Buddhists all over the world who visits this place during this time to have the most exclusive celebration of Lord Buddha. Mahabodhi temple is made the centre of all the festive rituals and celebrations when the entire temple is decorated and adorned with a number of beautiful decoratives. The entire landscape of bihar gets decorate completely and prayers for the lord is performed.