The April blaze is on and as the entire India prepares for the beginning of its New Year, Assam is all set to celebrate the ‘Bohag Bihu’ or the ‘Rongali Bihu’, to mark the beginning of the new crop season.
The word ‘Bihu’ is derived from ‘Bi’ meaning ‘to ask’ and ‘Shu’, meaning ‘peace and prosperity’, which over a period of time came to be known as ‘Bihu’, meaning to ‘to ask for peace and prosperity’. This is the most auspicious and important festival of Assam, when you can witness the entire state scintillating in vibrant colors of joy, happiness and enjoyment. The celebrations begin in the mid of April and generally continue until the end of the month.
India is an agrarian land and Assam is no separate from it. The ‘Bihu’ festival is associated with the beginning of the New year, whereby the farmers prepare their paddy fields for cultivation. The women cook several dishes like the ‘pithas’, ( made of rice flour and coconuts), dahi- chiwda ( rice flakes mixed with yogurt and jaggery) and there is a festive mood all around.
The first day is generally called the ‘goru-bihu’, or the cow-Bihu and is all about worship of cows. The whole atmosphere is filled with fun and excitement as the ‘Bihu dancers’ sway their bodies to the tunes of ‘Dhak'( the Assamese drums) and the local folk music.
The Seven Days:
Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu festival continues for seven days and called as Xaat Bihu. The seven days are known as Chot Bihu, Goru Bihu, Manuh Bihu, Kutum Bihu, Senehi Bihu, Mela Bihu and Chera Bihu.