Bihu - essence Assamese culture
Assam, a state in the north-eastern corner of India is not only famous for the one-horned Rhinoceros and tea production but also for its diverse ethnic groups and their cultural festivals. Bihu- the essence of the Assamese culture and community, is a festival signifying the agrarian cultural values in its rural society. Bihu is also known as Bwisagu, Bi-hau, Bisu, Pisu etc. by the ethnic population of the state. Assamese people celebrate the Bihu festival in three different seasons of the year. It surrounds around the activities of paddy cultivation and the rituals and customs associated with it.
Bohag or Rongali Bihu
A springtime festival celebrated in mid-April, Bohag Bihu certainly marks the beginning of Assamese New Year. Bohag or Rongali Bihu is also known as the festival of joy and happiness. It involves the youth performing traditional folk songs and dance (Husori), taking the blessing of elders. respecting nature, preparation of traditional dishes among others. Bohag Bihu certainly indicates the start of the crop planting season.
Kati or Kongali Bihu
Assamese people celebrate Kati in October on the first day of Kati month of Assamese calendar, It is a Bihu of prayers and being thrifty. The crops being sowed, the people light earthen lamps in the paddy field. They do so through prayers to bless their land with bountiful crop, and the home and family with health, wealth and strength.
Source: Dainik Barta
Magh or Bhugali Bihu
Surely, it is the festival of abundance. Particularly Assamese people celebrate in January with the arrival of the Magh month of the Assamese calendar, the Bhugali Bihu. Concluding the harvest, the people unite to have a feast. During these festivals the Assamese people consume various typical delicacies. Delicacies such as Til (sesame) pitha, Sunga pitha, Sira-doi (flattened rice with curd) , Narikol Laru ( made of grated coconut), Ghila Pitha are its main attractions. Apart from that, the temporary hut named Meji ghor, community fishing, prayers to Fire God, Magh Bondha- the tying of Rice Straw around fruit bearing trees are some of the rituals of Bhugali Bihu.
Source: NabaJyoti (Wiki Commons)
Author: Joydeep Phukan