Bihu- an assamese harvest festival

bihu festival

Date

Dates

Start Date: 15-01-2020 End Date:    15-01-2020
Location

Location

Assam, India

Significance of Bihu festival

Significance of Bihu festival

India, being a nation with 29 different states, have plenty of festivities each and every single day, hence it is also known as the land of festivals. All these festivals bring out a lot of joy and positivity in the environment. But the most celebrated festivals in India are the harvest festivals, one such beautiful festival from one of the seven sisters of north-east India is Bihu.

Bihu has two very different meanings. The first meaning is to ask prosperity from God and the second meaning is by breaking the word Bihu into two, bi meaning ask and hu meaning give. The first meaning is however a modified version of the term bishu. This festival makes the people forget to which caste or Creed they belong to, they all just come together and celebrate it as one.

Bihu is an Assamese harvest festival which traditionally celebrates the change of seasons. This festival is mainly divided into three sub festivals starting from April till January. Assam being a state which is solely a farming-based area. The three festivals also happen to demonstrate the different phases in the harvest calendar, although different tribes from different parts of Assam have various ways of celebrating this auspicious occasion. All three Bihu festivals have different significance for each. The first one being called Rongali or Bohag Bihu which is celebrated in the month of April and is the main one among the three. It signifies the start of spring and also the Assamese new year which is quite an auspicious occasion for them. The word rong in Rongali simply denotes happiness as it is the beginning of the harvest season.

Celebrations in Bihu festival
Celebrations in Bihu festival

For tourists who actually want to see what the harvest and what its protection looks like, October is the month for them to visit Assam. During this month, Kongali Bihu or Kati Bihu is celebrated which denotes that the paddy in the fields is still in growing stage. The people of Assam celebrate this to ask for protection of the paddy while it’s still growing. On this day, the elder members of the family light the earthen lamps, traditionally known as saki near the sacred plant Tulsi which is usually planted at the entrance of the house and in the paddy fields as well. Traditional rice dish called pitha is fed to the cattles who play a very important part in the process of harvesting and thank them for their productivity on the farm. The basic significance is to invite goddess Lakshmi for more prosperity and wealth.

Now comes the most interesting part of the festival, the third one which is Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu which is an amazing part for all the foodies who are traveling to Assam. The perfect timing to attend this festival is around mid-January. All the traditional Assamese delicacies are made during this time of the year as it typically marks the end of harvest season. Bon fires are made and the pithas are thrown into it. Their traditional dance form which is also known as Bihu is performed in their traditional attire which is an off-white colored mung silk saree with red border for females and the male members wear dhoti and gamosa made out of the very same material. The traditional dresses also have a significant meaning to it during the festive season.

Bamboo being a very significant plant in the region is used for various purposes, it is used in the fields in a circular motion to fly away all the unwanted flies and pests from the paddy field. The cultivation of bamboo and articles made out of it is the main source of income for most natives of Assam. So for the tourists who are crazy for collectables can surely buy some traditional articles from the flea market at reasonable prices. The use of bamboo is however not just limited to making articles our of it or using it in the fields, but their traditional dance, Bihu is also performed on it. The flute which is used as the music to Bihu dance is also made out of bamboo. Talk about utilizing the resources, Assam is a place where you could find the optimum utilization of it.

Bihu dance
Bihu dance

The dance form, Bihu, is traditionally done on the beats of drum, taal, pepa, toka, baahni, xuluni and gogona. People also sing their traditional songs around this bon fire. Also, there is an exchange of gifts between friends, family and relatives for a better bond and is considered as good luck. For tourists who are interested in bull fighting or cockfighting and also bird fighting, which is quite unique is also observed during this time of the year which is perfect for them. The animal fights are very strictly guided and are traditionally a symbol of good luck again. This festival is more like Christmas of India in countless ways. Pitha which is a traditional sweet made from rice is offered to the members of the family.

Assam – The gateway to the north east
Assam – The gateway to the north east

Assam is one of the most beautiful places that India has to offer. But with the festivities in the picture, the state turns even more beautiful than ever. There is no significant time to be visiting this beautiful Go gifted state as the festive season lasts for over exactly one year, celebrating the beginning of each and every season in the harvest calendar. The main attraction during this time of the year is also the mela or fairs as well call it generally. It offers all kinds of authentic goods such as the sarees, gomchas, bamboo articles like show pieces and hair accessories and traditional food items and spices.

Once you visit the state of Assam, you cannot neglect the beauty of river Brahmaputra, the female oriented Temple of Kamakhya and the adventurous wildlife experience at Kaziranga National park. Apart from the creation of men, the state is famous for its natural beauty and authenticity and gives out a positive vibe of its very own culture and has given the world a different kind of dance form called Bihu and a language which is distinct to its state. But mostly what attracts the visitors here is the unity and politeness of the native people and their welcoming attitude. The place has a lot to offer from beautiful mountains to deep valleys, to the authentic folklores and songs and attires, this place has a lot to offer and the best part about this state is that the natural essence of this state never dies and hopefully with the way the tourism is growing in this state, it never will.

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