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The city of Motihari is the Headquarters of East Champaran district in Bihar. Being one of the most important and rapidly developing cities, it is known for its vibrant culture and association with eminent historic personalities. The people here are warm, friendly and fun loving. They love to celebrate their festivals in a pompous and grand manner, keeping alive all the ancient traditional rituals and customs. Music and dance form an integral part of their celebrations and festivities. One gets to witness the grand social gatherings and ‘Unity in Diversity’ in Motihari, when people belonging to different religions and castes come together to celebrate various festivals.
Chhath Puja in Motihari
It is one of the most important and grandest festivals celebrated in the state of Bihar. It is dedicated to the sun God and is celebrated with immense faith. This festival that lasts for four days is celebrated twice a year, during the months of Chaitra (March) and Kartik (November). Women maintain sanctity and purity and celebrate this festival with utmost devotion. Various folk songs are sung in honour of ‘Chatti Maiyya’ and ‘Surya Dev’, seeking their blessings. Women fast during this occasion for the welfare of the society and their loved ones. This festival is also referred to as Surya Shashti, Chhathi and Dala Chhath.
During the Puja, the devotees take a dip in the holy waters and make offerings to the Sun God, during sun rise as well as sun set. The whole place wears a festive, auspicious and joyous look. Tourists from different states flock here to get a glimpse of the grand celebrations during this festival.
Sama Chakeva in Motihari
This is another important festival celebrated here, especially among the Mithila speaking population of Motihari. It is celebrated to welcome the migratory birds and is dedicated to the strong relationship between a brother and sister. Young girls in this region welcome the birds by singing Sama songs and make clay idols of the birds and adorn them beautifully. They perform various traditional rituals and this festival ends with biddng farewell to the Sama and Chakeva birds. This festival begins on the seventh day of Kartik (November) and ends on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. This festival thus is a unique and a wonderful way of showing one’s love and affection for nature.
Teej in Motihari
Being one of the most awaited festivals for married women in Motihari, this is celebrated in honour of Goddess Parvati.. It is also celebrated to mark the beginning of the pleasant monsoon season after the scorching summer heat. This three day festival is celebrated during the month of 'Bhadra'During this festival, the married women adorn themselves with fine clothes, jewellery, henna and worship Goddess Parvati, by singing various Teej songs. They invoke the blessings of the Goddess, for the well-being and happiness of their children and spouse by fasting rigidly and following various rituals with immense faith.
Barawafat in Motihari
This is a festival popular among the Muslim community in Motihari. It is celebrated on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal month, to commemorate the birth of Prophet Mohammad. On this occasion, public meetings are held and religious leaders speak about the Prophet’s life and his teachings. Prayers are held in the mosques and the mosques, streets and buildings are decorated with colourful lights. Processions are held and stories about the Prophet are narrated. People arrange feasts and invite their friends, relatives and acquaintances for the same. Charity in the form of food, clothing, money is given to the poor and the needy. Apart from the Muslims, people belonging to other religions also participate actively in these celebrations.
Apart from these festivals, a number of other festivals like Diwali, Ram Navami, Eid, Raksha Bandhan, Durga Puja, sarwani Mela, Buddha Purnima, Christmas are celebrated with zeal and vigour in Motihari. Do visit the city during these celebrations to experience its unique and rich culture, brotherhood among the people belonging to different classes in the society and the joyous ambience.