Culture of Bihar (Custom, Traditions, and Lifestyle)

2 years ago

1. Heritage of Bihar

Bihar is famous for its history and it dates back to three millennia, originating from the Indo-Aryan ethnic group. Most of the monuments in Bihar have great historic relations and tell the history of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Bodhi tree inside Mahabodhi temple under which Buddha attained his enlightenment and gave rise to Buddhism, the University of Nalanda was founded by Gupta Dynasty and was known as Nalanda Vishwa Vidyalaya, its library was the world’s biggest library at that time with all the facilities and it has every type of books, but the king of Turkey Bakhtiyar Khalji destroyed the university, the university was set on fire. Earlier Patna was known as Patliputra, it was very powerful due to its religious thoughts and wealth. The historical importance of Bihar one must explore. 

2. Art of Bihar

The art and craft of Bihar are quite famous. In the Mithila region of Bihar Mithila painting is famous, the painting is carried out from generation to generation mainly by women. Mithila painting was mostly done on freshly plastered mud huts. The painting is famous for its other name Madhubani Art.

Madhubani art from Bihar

3. Music and Dance Forms of Bihar

Bihar has contributed a lot to Indian classical music. Bhikhari Thakur a famous poet, also known as Shakespeare of Bhojpuri, Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan famous ‘Shenai Vaadak’, Draupadi singers Mishras and Mallik’s are some great musicians of Bihar. There are many folk songs in Bihar which are mostly related to the life of ordinary people, some of them are ‘Sohar’- performed during childbirth, ‘Ropnigeet’- performed during sowing paddy season, ‘Katnigeet’- performed during paddy harvesting season, ‘Sumangali’- performed during the wedding, and many more all these are performed by ladies. The folk music of Bihar is very unique there is a song (geet) for every event.

Dance form of Bihar

Bihar has various dance forms Mithila folk dance, folk dance of Adivasis, and Chau dance of Seraikella. Mithila dance form is based on various themes such as Ram-Leela Nach, Bhagat Nach, Narada Nach, Kunjvawt Nach, Arti Nach, and many more, all the dances are related to Hindu religion. In the Seraikella Kharsawam region of Bihar, Chau dance which was performed earlier to practice the fighting techniques, the performer wears a mask during the dance which was believed to conceal the identity of the performer in ancient days. Tribal folk dance poses some specific purpose, and they show their love towards nature from their dance art. Some main festivals of Santhals (tribal of Bihar) are Ba Parva, Dasia Parva, Maghi Parva, and Karma. Paika, Jatra, Karma, and Jadur are some major dance festivals of Oraons and the Mundas.  

4. Languages of Bihar

In Bihar, Hindi is used all over the state with its unique Bihari accent. We can see people speaking Bihari languages in several other states like UP, Jharkhand, West Bengal and some parts of Nepal also. The most spoken regional language in Bihar is Maithili along with dialects of Bajjika and Angika in over 20 districts of Bihar. The second language which is most used in Bihar in approximately 10 districts is Magahi.

5. Customs, Religions, and Traditions in Bihar

 Bihar is a state rich in heritage and monuments. Many of the tourists from all over the world travel to Bihar, to be a part of many customs and ceremonies. The state is known for its heritage site of Buddhism and Jainism followers. Lord Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. People of Bihar celebrate many festivals to give tribute to their God.

There is not any specific religion living in the state. The people of Bihar are a mixture of many religious groups, who live together and follow their customs and ceremonies. The state’s population is the combination of Hindus, Muslims, Jainism, Buddhism, and Christians. People of Bihar help each other in their ceremonies and festivals which makes the state strengthen their equality.

The tradition of Bihar is very unique from many other states. Traditionally men in Bihar use to wear Dhoti – Kurta. But nowadays western dressing came into trend, many people now follow western dress like shirts and trousers even in the urban setting of Bihar. Women wear Salwar kameez as it was one of the traditional dresses of Bihar. Festivals like Chhath Puja have a very emotional connection with the people of Bihar.

6. Bihar Culture Dress

The most preferable and traditional dress in Bihar is dhoti-kurta for men and saree for women. The clothing style in Bihar is the mirror of its culture and tradition. Western culture is also affecting the lifestyle of people and we can see men wearing shirts, trousers, jeans, and other western dresses and women wearing salwar kameez in urban as well as rural Bihar. Youngsters prefer western dresses as they look modern but elderly people still prefer a dhoti or lungi and on top, they usually go for shirts, t-shirts, and kurtas which show us the true amalgamation of east meets west. Bihar is famous for its handwoven textiles. One of the unique and individualistic dress styles for women in Bihar is Tussar Silk saree which is considered as the most sensual attire of and an Indian woman. Women usually drape their saree in “seedha anchal style”. We can see some different dressing sense of people in different regions of Bihar. For example, Paag which is a unique part of the dress in Mithila is a turban worn by men to symbolize the status in Bihari society. On special occasions like weddings, people do wear modern western dresses like suits but most of the people still prefer traditional Sherwani or Kurtas which looks more elegant and perfect for these types of traditional occasions.

7. Bihar Culture Food

Bihari cuisine includes three types of cuisine showing different varieties and traditions of the culture in the state itself which are Bhojpuri cuisine, Maithil cuisine, and Magahi cuisine. The first thing which comes to our mind by thinking about Bihari food is the famous Litti Chokha. Seasonal fruits like watermelon and beverages like sharbat made from wood-apple fruit are very common among people. Numerous meat dishes are famous in Bihar for its a unique taste and cultural touch in taste and spices. Chicken and Mutton are the most common in Bihar and Fish are famous in North Bihar due to many rivers present there. Some cities are famous for its special food like Champaran is famous for meat, a small city names Pakribarawan is famous for a sweet dish called Vara mithai, Sitamarhi is famous for Balushahi and so on. These dishes can be only found in Bihar and are rich in taste and culture.

8. Bihar Work Culture

Bihar is one of the populous states in our country and still provides ample opportunities and work for every people. Most of the people here are businessmen who are expanding their business and living a happy life. In Bihar, there is a huge craze for Government Jobs and that is why Bihar gives the highest number of civil services officers. The people of Bihar are hardworking and they are present everywhere in our country as well as outside our country. Here, non-privileged people also work hard all day and fulfill the needs of their families through their hard-earned money. There are several break mineral mines in Bihar which also give many job offers to people. Here, people of every class are involved in farming and is one of the states that provides enough crops of need. Farming is the main occupation for almost all people living in rural areas.  

9. Bihar Festivals

The most famous festival of Bihar is Chatth which is celebrated twice a year. Apart from this, there are several famous regional and national festivals celebrated in Bihar’s different cultures and traditions. Festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid, and Navratri are celebrated as well as some festivals are celebrated only by the people of this state. Some of them are Sama Chakewa which is celebrated to dedicate the relationship of brother and sister in the Mithila region, Jiutiya is celebrated by women for wellbeing and long life of their sons, Newan or Newani where during the crop cutting season people take new grain to home and eat it with certain ceremonies, karma which is celebrated by tribal and non-tribal people of Bihar relating to crops and so on. Every festival mentioned here is of its important significance and shows the rich culture and diversity of Bihar.

Chatth Puja | Festival in Bihar

Snehal Mishra

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