Bihu is the chief festival of Assam. Marking the beginning of the Assamese New Year, Bihu is celebrated with immense joy and fervor in the state. Take a look at some the facts related to Bihu.
Bihu is a set of three different festivals: Rangali or Bohag Bihu which is observed in April, Kangali or Kati Bihu which is observed in October, and Bhogali or Magh Bihu which is observed in January.
The Rangali Bihu is the most important of the three and celebrates the Assamese new year and the spring festival.
The Bhogali Bihu or the Magh Bihu is the one which is all about food.
The Kongali Bihu or the Kati Bihu is the somber and thrifty one reflecting a season of short supplies. Bodos of Assam light lamps for rice crop and offer prayer to the God of Fire for a successful harvesting season.
Rangali Bihu coincides with Baisakhi. While the other two Bihu are unique to Assamese culture.
Bihu is associated with agriculture, much like many other festivals in the state. It symbolizes a successful harvest of paddy crop.
The three Bihu festivals are Hindu festivals for honoring Lord Krishna, cattle, elders, fertility and Goddess Durga. However, the celebrations and traditions have aboriginal, south east Asian and Tibetan influences.
The Bihu festival is celebrated for seven days and those seven days are called Xaat Bihu.
Bihu is celebrated by dancing, folk songs, beating drums and by indulging in sumptuous meals.
During Bhogali Bihu, various types of sports like buffalo fighting, cock fighting, egg fighting and nightingale fighting are organized.
Apart from being celebrated in Assam, the three Bihu are celebrated by the Assamese diaspora around the world.
The day before Bihu is called Uruka. On this day, people build temporary huts with hay and bamboo called belaghar. The belaghars are used for communal meals and get together.
On the day of Magh Bihu men build mejis. Mejis are made of hay, dry grass and leaves which is lit up by the eldest member of the family. Various kinds of food items like coconut and betel nut are offered to meji before it is set on fire.
Assam is a state where one can have magical experience. So, this Bihu do not forget to visit this magical land and create memories of a lifetime.