Bihu is one of the most important cultural festivals in Assam. It celebrates the changing of the seasons, primarily serves agriculture and the society of the state. It marks the start of the Assamese New Year and harvest time.
They are celebrated at different times: Rongali or Bohag Bihu is celebrated in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu is celebrated in October, while Bhogali or Magh Bihu is celebrated in January.
There are some interesting facts that people should know about the vibrant Bihu festival.
1) Three types of Bihu
Bihu is mainly a collection of three different festivals, namely Rangali or Bohag Bihu (April), Kangali or Kati Bihu (October), and Bhogali or Magh Bihu (January). Magh Bihu symbolizes the end of the harvest season. Rongali Bihu arrives as the Assamese New Year, while Kati Bihu celebrates harvest time.
2) Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu
The Assamese New Year: Among the three B’s, this is the most important as it celebrates the Assam New Year.
3) Goru Bihu
The first day of Rongali Bihu: On this day, the farmers bring their cattle and livestock to a river or pond to bathe it, which is considered sacred. They later prepare a paste of turmeric powder and legumes known as mah-Haldi, which they apply on their cattle. The animals are then caressed by the branches of the Makhiyati and Dighalati plants.
4) Kongali or Kati Bihu
During this time the Bodo people of Assam light lamps and pray to God for a successful harvest season. Any celebration of Bihu is considered incomplete with melodious Bihu Geet (folk songs) and traditional dances.
5) Celebrating the Festival
During this time, people dress in their best traditional clothes and perform Bihu Naach. The melody of traditional musical instruments such as Toka Xutuli, Baanhi, Dhul and Gogona gives the atmosphere a different flavor.
6) Animal fights during Bhogali Bihu
Various sports are organized during Bhogali Bihu, including buffalo fighting and cockfighting, among others.