Itv4GyoLB5BtVaEiqtR0DV3rCmQ NEWS INFORMATION VIEWS...ETC: April 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rongali Or Bohag Bihu: The Spring Festival Of Assam!

Rongali or Bohag Bihu marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year from the first month of the Assamese calendar called Bohag falling April 14-15. Since this Bihu also welcomes the advent of the spring season it is called Rongali which means fun and frolic. As nature takes on a lush green dress people go for new cloths too and celebrate. This is the biggest of the three Bihus and one of the biggest festivals of Assam.

Bohag Bihu is mainly observed for three days, but celebrations go on for one full week. First day is called ‘Goru Bihu’ meaning a day dedicated for the cattle. Villagers acknowledge the great service of their prized cows and buffalos by taking them to ponds or rivers for ceremonial bath. They are showered with garlands and select vegetables that are also fed to them. The animals are tethered with new ropes and are wished long lives of service as ever.

Second day is called ‘manuh bihu’ meaning bihu for humans. This being the first day of the New Year people take ritualistic baths and wear new colorful dresses. They visit neighbors and relatives and also welcome them home with special bihu delicacies.

Young boys and girls break into Bihu songs and dances wearing traditional costumes. With the rhythm instrument called dhol and the music of the buffalo horn pipe called pepa the environs resound and resonate. Cultural festivals consisting of song and dance competitions are organized for seven days and celebrity artistes are invited to enthrall the joyful Bihu revelers in the late evenings. All such festivals are held in open grounds. In major towns cultural events attain great professional standards and lucrative awards are given to the competition winners. Groups of boys and girls also go from house to house performing husori or bihu song and dance.

The third day is dedicated to the deities.

People of Assam look forward to these seven days of fun and frolic and celebrate with Great Spirit. All communities irrespective of caste and religion participate with hearts unbound.