Kartik Poornima Day
Sonepur Mela is one of Asia’s largest cattle fairs and is held in the Indian state of Bihar. The fair starts on Karthik Purnima (Kartika Poornima, the full moon day) in November and lasts for around a month. It begins on the full moon day as a religious Hindu festival. Thousands of pilgrims make offerings and take a ritual bath in Gandak river, near its confluence with the Ganges. Numerous tantriks practise black magic to remove the evil energies from the pilgrims and resolve their problems. There are also many holy men (sadhus) and religious gurus with followers in their own camps, praying, chanting and meditating. Spiritual activities are the main point of the fair for a couple of days. When all pilgrims are gone back to their towns and villages the religious event transforms itself into a large fair trade and amusement park which continues for about a month.