Monday, July 15, 2024

Fairs and Festivals of Assam

Magh or Bhogali bihu

The Magh or Bhogali Bihu is celebrated in mid-January on the last day of the month of poush and the first day of magh during which the harvest is gathered.

On the Uruka day, i.e. the evening preceding the actual bihu day, young men  build a temporary shelter in the open, collect firewood, often by stealing, which is permissible on this occasion, for a bonfire. A non-vegetarian feast is held at night and at crack of dawn, fire is ceremoniously applied to the meji constructed the previous evening .

The meji is a structure built of logs of wood placed in pairs, tier above tier  till they rise to considerable heights and present the appearance of a lofty temple. The male folk of  the entire village or locality gather at the site of the meji and there take place a tea party in which cakes of various kinds are served. The feasting is followed by sports throughout the day. The half-burnt sticks and ashes of the meji are strewn on the fields and at the root of the fruit trees as they are believed to increase fertility.