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)
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.
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.