Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Fairs and Festivals of Assam



The national festivals of the Assamese, irrespective of caste, creed or religion are the Bihus. It is secular in concept because it is intimately connected with agriculture.

There are three Bihus that come off at various stages of cultivation of paddy, the principal crop of Assam. They are Bahag (Baisakh) Bihu, Kati (Kartika) Bihu and Magh (Magha) Bihu.

Among the Bihus, spring festival called Bahag Bihu is the most important. Bahag  Bihu is also popularly called Rongali Bihu or the Bihu that cheers, while Magh Bihu is the Bhogali Bihu or the Bihu that one enjoys with food and drink. In between comes the Kati Bihu observed on the last day of Aswin, also called the Kangali or Beggars bihu, for there is nothing much to eat at this time. The term Bihu is traced to the Sanskrit  word Visuvan; i.e. equinox. The bihus take place on a Sankranti day, which means the time when the sun passes from one zodiac sign to another.