Bohag Bihu, also known as Rongali Bihu, is one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals celebrated in the northeastern state of Assam in India. It marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and is associated with the arrival of spring. The festival is known for its elaborate celebrations, traditional rituals, music, dance and delicious food. If you want to experience the charm of Bohag Bihu, we are sharing 10 things to do during this bohag bihu festive season.
Bohag Bihu is a popular harvest festival celebrated in Assam in mid-April. It is a time of cheer and joy when people welcome spring and bid farewell to winter. The festival is a celebration of life, fertility and abundance and features colourful festivities that last for several days. The Assamese, known for their rich cultural heritage, perform various traditional practices and rituals during Bohag Bihu to invoke the blessings of the gods and goddesses for a prosperous year.
Bohag Bihu, also known as Rongali Bihu, is an important festival celebrated in the state of Assam in northeastern India. It marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy. Here are
10 things you should do to celebrate Bohag Bihu:
Join the ritual bath of Cows on the day of Goru Bihu
Listen to Bihu songs:
Bihu is not complete without music, and Bihu songs play an important role in the celebrations. The lively and energetic Bihu songs contribute to the festive atmosphere and connect people. In Bohag Bihu, Bihu songs are sung and danced in various places, for example, in houses, community centers and even on the street. The songs usually revolve around the themes of love, nature and agriculture and are sung in the Assamese language.
Bohag Bihu songs have a unique rhythm and melody that distinguishes them from others. The songs are usually accompanied by musical instruments such as dhol, pepa, gogona and baanhi. The dhol is a percussion instrument, while the pepa, gogona and baanhi are wind instruments. The combination of these instruments creates a lively and captivating rhythm that entices people to dance.
It is a wonderful experience to listen to the Bihu songs during the Bohag Bihu. The songs reflect the joy and enthusiasm of the festival and bring people closer to their roots. The festival is not only about music and dance but also about celebrating the diversity of Assam's culture and traditions.
Visit a Bihu Market:
The Bihu Market is a lively event with colourful stalls selling handicrafts, clothes, jewellery and delicious food. The fairgrounds are bustling with people of all ages, and it's a great place to get a glimpse of Assam's rich cultural heritage. You can see traditional Assamese costumes, sample delicious local dishes, and watch folk dances and musical performances.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Bihu Fair is the traditional games and sports competitions that take place there. Visitors can participate in games such as Koni-juj, the egg and spoon race, tug-of-war and many others.
The Bihu Market is also a good place to buy souvenirs and gifts for friends and family. The handicrafts sold at the fair are made by local artisans, and you can find unique and beautiful items such as bamboo items, pottery, and traditional Assamese jewellery.
Exchange of gifts:
During Bohag Bihu, people traditionally exchange gifts. This tradition of exchanging gifts has been prevalent in Assam since ancient times. The exchange of gifts is a symbol of mutual love, respect and gratitude. It is a way to show appreciation and strengthen relationships.
The gifts exchanged during the Bihu festival are usually traditional items such as gamocha, xorai and jaapi. The gamocha is a hand-woven towel that is considered a symbol of Assamese culture. The xorai is a traditional Assamese tray made of bell-shaped metal or silver on which tamul (betel nuts) and pan (betel leaves) are offered to guests. The jaapi is a traditional hat made of bamboo and pith, widely used in Assam to protect from the sun and rain.
In addition to traditional items, people also exchange modern gifts such as clothing, utensils and accessories.
The exchange of gifts during the Bihu festival is not limited to family and friends. People also exchange gifts with neighbours, colleagues and business partners. This custom strengthens social ties and promotes a sense of community.
Attending a Bihu dance performance
Attending a Bihu dance performance during Bohag Bihu is an incomparable experience. The energy and excitement surrounding this occasion is truly contagious. The dance is performed in a circle and the dancers move to the rhythm of the dhol, pepa and other traditional musical instruments. The graceful movements of the dancers, combined with the lively rhythms of the instruments, create an atmosphere of joy and celebration.
The traditional dress of the dancers is also a real feast for the eyes. The women wear the mekhela chadar, a two-piece garment made of silk or cotton, while the men wear dhoti and kurta. The bright colours and intricate patterns of the costumes add to the beauty of the show.
Besides the traditional dance, other cultural performances such as Husori at Bihutoli also take place during the festival. In these performances, traditional songs are sung and traditional instruments are played to make the participants aware of the rich cultural heritage of Assam.
Attending a dance performance during Bohag Bihu is an essential experience for anyone who wants to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Assam. It is an opportunity to experience the beauty and grace of Bihu dance and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of the occasion. Whether you are a tourist or a local, this experience is sure to be remembered for a long time.
Enjoy Assamese cuisine:
one of the most popular dishes during the Bohag Bihu festival is the Assamese thali, a rice dish served with a variety of foods from sour to spicy. The thali usually includes a mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, such as fish curry, pork with bamboo shoots, chicken curry and dal.
Another dish not to be missed is pitha, a type of rice cake in various shapes and flavors. During the festival, there is a wide variety of pitha, including til pitha (with sesame seeds), narikol pitha (with coconut) and ghila pitha (in the form of pancakes).
For those with a sweet tooth, the festival offers a variety of sweets such as payas, laddoos and rasgullas. However, the most popular dessert during Bohag Bihu is doi chira, prepared with mashed rice, yogurt, jaggery and banana.
Wearing traditional clothes:
Wearing traditional clothes during Bohag Bihu is an expression of the cultural identity of the people of Assam. The festival gives people an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage and rich tradition. During the festival, people wear traditional clothes such as the Mekhela Chador for women and the Dhoti Kurta or Gamosa for men. The bright and colourful attire reflects the vibrancy of the festival and the joy associated with it.
The traditional dress is not only a fashion statement during the Bohag Bihu festival but also has a deeper meaning. The clothing represents the connection between nature and the environment. The colours and patterns of the clothing are inspired by nature and reflect the beauty of spring. Wearing traditional clothing also reminds us of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage and passing it on to future generations.
Wearing traditional clothing during Bohag Bihu also promotes a sense of unity among the people of Assam. Regardless of caste, religion or social status, everyone comes together to celebrate the festival in traditional dress. The clothing acts as a unifying factor and helps create a sense of community among the people.
Zubeen Da and Papon Da r Bihu Function
Zubeen Garg and Papon are two of the most popular and talented musicians in the Indian music industry. Their music transcends borders and connects people. Every year, the two musicians come together during the Bohag Bihu festival to put on a program that is nothing short of spectacular.
Zubeen Garg and Papon's program during Bohag Bihu is highly anticipated by music lovers all over Assam. Their performance is a perfect blend of traditional Assamese folk music and modern music. They are known for their unique style of music that seamlessly blends the old and the new.
During the program, Zubeen and Papon perform some of their most popular songs as well as some traditional Bihu songs. The audience usually consists of people of all ages who dance and sing along with the musicians.
Importance of the Bohag Bihu
The Bohag Bihu has immense significance in the lives of the Assamese. It is not only a festival of merriment and celebration, but also an occasion to give thanks to nature, celebrate community spirit and ask blessings for a prosperous year. The festival reflects the agricultural lifestyle and cultural richness of Assam and brings people together across caste, religion and age. It is a time when the entire state comes alive with vibrant colours, pulsating music and exuberant dances, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration.
In conclusion, the Bohag Bihu is a unique and vibrant festival that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Assam. From traditional rituals and costumes to energetic dance and music performances, from delicious traditional cuisine to colourful costumes, the Bohag Bihu is a celebration of life, nature and community. It is a time when the people of Assam come together to express their gratitude to nature, seek blessings from their elders, and celebrate the joys of harvest and new beginnings. With its deep-rooted traditions, folklore and festive spirit, the Bohag Bihu truly embodies the essence of Assamese culture and is a must-attend event for anyone wishing to experience Assam's rich cultural heritage.