THE BIHU INTRODUCTION: Festivals are necessary for us to remove dullness of life. Life with out merriments or festivities becomes monotonous and festivals remove such monotony and give mental refreshment. The Bihu is a great national festival of the Assamese people. Every Assamese, irrespective of cast, creed, or religion, observes this festival whole heartedly. The Bihu comes to us bat different stages of Nature. Bihu is observed throughout Assam as a national festival. It is significant that Bihu festival has no religious basis and is open to all caste and communities.
Thus we have three Bihus: Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu. ? Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu. ? Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu. BOHAG BIHU: The Bohag Bihu falls on the last day of the month of Chat` (Chaitra). On that day people take their bath early and go to Namghar and sing prayer songs. The village boys take their cows to the nearest river or pond for washing. In the evening the cows are tied with new ropes. Children and younger people get merry and play different games.
The second day of the Bihu is the New Year’s Day. People put on new clothes. Women generally make presents of napkins (Bihuwans) Woven by them to their relatives.
Younger people assemble in open spaces . Some play and some sing Bihu songs and dance. This joy and merriments continues for seven days.
The Bohag Bihu comes with the coming of spring. There is joy in nature. Fresh showers bring new life to trees and plants. They appear gay with new leaves. Birds sing, flowers bloom and Assamese people in observance of Bihu sing and dance with joy.
So it is rightly called the “Rongali Bihu. ” KATI BIHU: This Bihu comes on the last day of the month of Ahin in the autumn season. The ears of paddy make appearance. People clean their abodes.
Tulshi plants are planted in front of the houses. In the evening lights are put near Tulshi plants and in the corn fields. There is, however, no merry making and feasting in this Bihu. So it is called the “Kangali Bihu. ”. MAGH BIHU: The Magh Bihu begins on the last day of the month puh .
This Bihu comes after the harvest and people enjoy this Bihu very much. Maxis of straw are made here and there . Younger people keep awake throughout the night feasting and merry making. Before dawn people take bath and burn the Mijis and worship the fire God.
The women of every house prepare different cakes. Feasting and merry making continue for seven days. Relatives and friends are invited to enjoy the feasts arranged during the bihus . In village Namghars older people assemble to say their prayer. The Magh Bihu is thus observed amidst enjoyment and feasting.
So it is called the “Bhogali Bihu. ” CONCLUSION: I take much delight to enjoy this festival. To me and to most of us it is quite enjoyable and life giving. The Bihu is therefore rightly called the main festival of the Assamese people.