East Indian Festivals

Festivals form an integral part of the socio-cultural life of the people of East India. Most of their festivals are connected with agriculture as it is the main occupation of the people. And moreover the best thing about this is that there are innumerable tribes in eastern India, hence there are numerous festivals through out the year.
Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. In a year, there are three types of Bihu festivals named Rangali Bihu (15th & 16th April), Bhogali Bihu (14th-16th January) and Kangali Bihu (Sep-Oct). Among the three the most important is the Rangali Bihu, also called Bahag Bihu, celebrated during the spring season. This festival marks the start of agricultural festival. The main event of the festival is the Bihu dance by young boys and girls accompanied by music sung by women and special festival cuisine is prepared during these days.
The Assam Majuli Festival is held on the bank of river Luit in Majuli Island. Majuli Island is an inbound destination in Majuli Island, one that is visited for being a cultural hub of Assam.
The Elephant Festival in Kaziranga is a special event held in Assam. During this festival, the elephants can be witnessed all standing in a row after row as they walk before fascinated spectators. There are elephant races and games for guests to enjoy.
Jorhat is the hub of Tea festival in November. The celebrations include a visit to the many tea gardens, golf course and Guwahati Tea auction Center. The Assamese cuisine and fresh Assam tea is the feature of the festival.
Patkai Festival is celebrated at Lekhapani in Dehing near Tinsukia, an eastern district of Assam.
Brahmaputra Beach Festival is celebrated at the same time as that of Bhogali Bihu, which is the harvest festival of Assam. Elephant Race, kite flying, beach cricket and volleyball are the main attraction of this Beach Festival.
Another prominent state in the eastern part of India is Orissa. Famous for its ancient connections with the Maurya dynasty, Kalinga as it was known then is today known as pilgrim of the east. The major eastern festivals of Durga and Kali Puja along with other common festivals are celebrated here.
Magha Saptami is the most popular and colourful festival of the temple city of Konark. This is an occasion for a grand congregating of Indian pilgrims who take holy dips in the Chandrabhaga Tirtha near the sea and welcome the rising Sun with prayers. This festival falls around end of February.
Jaggannath Puri is one of the four sacred pilgrimages of India. The 
Rath Yatra that takes place here every June – July is the most famous religious occasion. The three deities Lord Jaggannath, Balbhadra, his brother and Subhadra, his sister are taken in a chariot procession to their summer temple for a week
Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals in India celebrated in the month of October. But on the eastern region of the country specially in West Bengal it is much more than a festival. People in the state go around crazy celebrating life to fullest, culture, popular customs and traditions. It is the time when families and friends get reunited at one place for love and affection, to share and to care.
Durga Puja is a ten days long celebration of the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura and establishing peace and order in the Three Worlds.
Apart from Ma Durga, Durga Puja also involves the worshiping of Her sons Karthik and Ganesha, daughters Lakshmi and Saraswati and husband Lord Shiva who accompany Her on her journey to Earth.

Five days after, on the full moon night comes the Lakshmi Puja. Idols of Lakshmi are installed and worshipped for a day. Within fifteen days of Durga Puja comes Diwali celebrated all over India and known as Kali Puja in West Bengal. Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the next day of Diwali. 
The Losar Festival is also called as the New Year Festival and is the most important festival celebrated in Tawang Arunachal Pradesh. Losar is celebrated by the Monpas who forms the major portion of population in Tawang Arunachal Pradesh. This part of population commemorates the advent of the New Year for about 8 to 15 days. Festival of Losar is the time when the Monpas enjoy the time with high festive spirit and prepares for merry making and feasting together with friends and relatives. Other festivals celebrated here are the Reh Festival, the Ojiyale Festival, the Tamladu Festival, the Khan Festival, the Sanken Festival and the Mopin Festival.
Chapchar Kut, considered as the most important traditional festival of Mizoram, is celebrated with great pomp and splendor. It marks the start of spring and brings in the festive mood to the lives of Mizos as they prepare themselves to celebrate the festival of happiness. It is very popular among tourists visiting the destination at that time. It falls in the month of March.
Jharkhand, the newly formed state was earlier part of the bigger state of Bihar. Primarily inhabited by tribes, this state is rich in Mines and Minerals, Industries, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Forests. Sarhul is the most famous festival among the tribes. Chaul is another festival celebrated.
One of the most prominent sites of the Buddhist pilgrimage, Bodhgaya, rests in Bihar. Huge celebrations take place in Bodhgaya during Buddha Purnima. The Buddhists believe that Lord Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and also attained nirvana on the same day. Buddhist rituals for celebrating the three-in-one occasion are naturally elaborate. The day falls in the month of May. Bihar is also the birth place of the 24th tirthankar who preached the Jain religion, Lord Mahavir. Mahavir Jayanti is the most pious occasion for the Jain community. On this auspicious day grand chariot procession with the image of Mahavir are taken out, rich ceremonies are held in the temples, fasts and charities are observed, Jain scriptures are read, and at some places grand fairs are set up.
The most famous festivals of all is the Chhath. Chhath falls on the sixth day in the month of Kartik, which is around November just after Diwali. The festival is dedicated to Sun God. Women keep fast and worship the Sun God during sun rise and sun set. The prayers are primarily for the well being of their children. The other festivals celebrated are , the colorful festival of Dance and Music, Sonepur Cattle fair, where Goddess Saraswati is worshiped. 
The small state of Sikkim on the foothills of the Himalayas is a beautiful unexplored religious state. Majority of the population here is Buddhist although Hindu population is also present. The Losoong or the Sonam Losar is celebrated as the New Year around February here. People rejoice and celebrate their harvest. Pang Lhabsol, celebrated in August is a unique Sikkim festival. Tashiding Bumchu is another typically Sikkim festival. It occurs around JanuaryFebruary and continuous for three days when devotees from different parts of Himalayas come for blessings and celebrations at Tashiding monastery. Holiest of all the Buddhist festivals, Saga Dawa is a Triple Blessed Festival. On this day in different years of his life, Lord Buddha took birth, achieved Enlightenment and passed away attaining Nirvana. Thus three important events are celebrated in the festival of Saga Dawa.
Nagaland is known as the land of festivals as each tribe celebrates its own festival with dedication and passion. Tuluni Festival is marked with feasts as the occasion occurs in the fruitful season of the year. This festival is celebrated with great pomp by the Sumi tribe of Nagaland. Some of the important festivals celebrated are: Tsukhenyie by the Chakhesangs in January, Mimkut by the Kukis in January, Bushu by the Kacharis in January, Sekrenyi by the Angamis in February, Aoling by the Konyaks in April, Moatsu by the Aos in May, Tuluni by the Sumis in July, Nyaknylum by the Changs in July, Tokhu Emong by the Lothas in November and Yemshe by the Pochurys in October. 

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