Monday, May 29, 2023

Fairs and Festivals of Assam


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.