Bihu In Assam

Tripoto
19th Nov 2018
Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Unity of among diversity is seen in the festival of Bihu. Assam consists of various different unique tribes who have their precise own traditions and culture. In spite of such diversity they are all United in celebrating the festival.

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain
Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Hajong Tribe

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Mishing/Missing Tribe

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

koch-Rajbongshi Tribe

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Sonowal-Kachari Tribe

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Rabha Tribe

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

As I could focus only on one aspect of the festival I have chosen the first day of the festival of Bhogali Bihu. Many different customs and rituals are followed on that day. Starting by taking the cattles(read cows) to the river and giving them a bathe , then cut pieces of vegetables like Bottle groud , brinjal etc are thrown at them as a sign of  blessing towards them. The Cattle sheds are cleaned and new harnesses for the cattle  are brought. After that one have to take bath by applying a paste of raw turmeric and lentil paste of their body.

Several different dishes are served on that day owing to the rituals.The most interesting among them is  a dish cooked with one hundred different herbs. Second on the list is red ants larvae . You could even find silkworms. Chicken, Duck , Pork are eaten by choices. One thing that every household shares in common is rice soaked overnight in water.  A bowl of brewed rice wine is not be forgotten .

Red larvae cooked with duck eggs

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

One hundred and one different herbs 101

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Silkworms

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Rice wine

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Pork and Chicken

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain

Later in the evening everyone gathers together and dance , eat , enjoy to the tunes of Bihu hymns. This festival marks the starting of the rice cultivation season . After the festival everyone  heads to the fields and this marks the beginning of the rice cultivation.

Another Bihu called Kongali or Kati Bihu , this Bihu is celebrated when the rice cultivation is ready to be harvested , in this festival people prays being grateful to the almighty for blessing them with a good crops.People lights Earthen Lamps in their homes and rice fields.

The last is called Rongali or Magh Bihu.This festival marks the end of harvesting of rice , when everyone brings their produce from the fields to their home . Their hard labour had paid off. This festival shows the abundance of everything in their homes. It is celebrated with tremendous joy. The whole village gathers for a grand feast consisting a plethora of delicacies.They  Sing and dance the whole night and in the  woo hours of dawn  a  pyre built from  wood , twigs , bamboo is burnt as a custom of the festival.

Bihu actually is the generic name of three sets of festivals celebrated in Assam. They are namely 'Rongali' Bihu or 'Bohag' Bihu , 'Bhogali' Bihu or 'Magh' Bihu ,'Kongali' Bihu or 'kati' Bihu . 'Bohag' , 'Magh' and 'kati' literally refers to three different months of the assamese calendar. The Bhogali Bihu is the chief among the three festivals.It is celebrated in the month of April accompanied by activities like eating , dancing,drinking etc

Girls in ethnic Assamese attire dancing

Photo of Bihu In Assam by Tomas Borgohain
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