Bahag bihu (Rongali bihu)
Among the Bihus, spring festival called Bahag Bihu is the most important. Bahag Bihu (spring time
Bihu) starts on the last day of the
month of chaitra which is also the last day of the Hindu calendar
year and ushers in the new year (mid-April being the beginning of the
Hindu calendar year). Bahag Bihu is also popularly called Rongali Bihu or the Bihu that cheers.
The first day is called Garu bihu. It is the day
of the cattle when bulls, cows and calves are bathed anointed with turmeric,
fed with brinjals and gourds and given new tethering ropes. The second
day, i.e. new year's day is called Manush bihu. It is the day for men,
women and children. New clothes are put on, delicacies are prepared in
every household for feasting and alms are given to the indigent. Old quarrels
and differences are settled, friends and relatives are visited and entertained
with food and presents of hand -woven scarves are made for near
relations and close friends.
The bihu continues for seven days. The main
activities during the bihu festival besides those mentioned above, are
dancing and singing and serving rice-beer to visitors.