BOHAG BIHU (RONGALI BIHU)...Celebrate to the fullest...

Bihu is the main festival of Assamese people. Bihu is said to be the ancestral festival of the Assamese. It is not only celebrated by the Assamese but by everyone living in various part of Assam irrespective of caste and religion. It is the festival of love, care and friendship.

It symbolises the integrity among the people of Assam. Starting from child to old man all become energetic in the festival.
There are three types of bihu. It is celebrated throughout the year at different months. These are:
Bohag or Rongali bihu (mid of April month)
Kaati or Kongali bihu( mid of October month)
Magh or Bhugali bihu( mid of January month)
Now it is the time to celebrate Bohag bihu. This year it is started from 14th of April. The first day is observed as Goru bihu. At the very day cows are given the respect as they are the main part of agriculture. Cows are given bath altogether and throwing vegetables to their back. Songs are sung for their blessing of long life like
”Lau kha bengen kha din din barhta ja,
ma choti baap chota tu ban mota taja” (hindi translation).

Actually this is the most popular bihu and from the celebration of this festival, Assamese new year is started. Bohag is the starting of spring. Like the nature changes in the spring Bohag bihu also comes with new changes to the mind of the people. It is an energetic period of the year. Like the birds fall in love of the beauty of trees Bohag puts the sense of love in the heart of lovers.
Long ago Rongali bihu was celebrated for seven days and every day had its own name like goru bihu, manuh bihu, gukhai bihu, taantor bihu, nangolor bihu, ghorosia jiva jontur bihu and sera bihu. These all are assamese name but it has very special meaning and each day contains various rituals.
The second day i.e. 15th of April, this year is manuh bihu. Manuh refers to man and woman. In the day very early morning everyone takes bath and the blessing of elders. New cloths are wore, even the poors also buy atleast a vest. Village elders move from household to households singing carols, also in the style of bihu geets, called husoris.It possibly derives from the Dimasa Kachari word formation ha (land) and char (move over): hachari.Villages could have more than one Husori band, and they would visit households in a village non-contiguous to itself, first singing carols at the Naamghar. The husori singers then visit individual households, by first announcing their arrival at the gate (podulimukh) with drum( dhol) beats. The singers are traditionally welcomed into the courtyard where they sing the husori songs and perform a ring dance. At the end of the performance they are thanked with an offering dakshina of paan (betel leaf) tamul (areka nut) in a xorai (brass dish with stand), whereupon the singers bless the household for the coming year. If there is a bereavement in the family, or the family does not invite the husori singers due to an illness, the husori band offers blessings from podulimukh and move on. Generally the singers are all male.
The women make pitha, larus (traditional food made of rice and coconut) and Jolpan which gives the real essence of the season.
Fat Bihu:
This is a very old form of Bihu, characterized by spontaneity, popular in the Lakhimpur area(Dhakuakhana) of Assam. According to legend, the first Ahom king, Sukaphaa, traveled to the region to watch it in the early 13th century.
Mukoli Bihu:
Young unmarried men and women attired in traditional golden silk muga dance the bihu and sing bihu songs in the open fields. The songs have themes of romance and sexual love, requited or unrequited. Sometimes the songs describe tragic events too, but treated very lightly. The dance celebrates female sexuality.
Jeng Bihu:
This is Bihu dance and song performed and watched only by women. The name “jeng” comes from the fact that in earlier days women in the villages used to surround the place of their performance with sticks dug into the ground called jeng in Assamese. It is also called gos tolor bihu (Bihu beneath tree).
The Bodo-Kachari people celebrate for seven days—the first day for cattle (Magou), the second day for man (Mansoi) and ancestor worship, feasting, singing and merriment. Songs follow the same themes as the Bihu songs.
Bihutoli Bihu:
The rural festival made its transition to urban life when it was first time brought to the stage in Lataxil field in Guwahati by the Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani in 1952, promoted by leading citizens like Radha Govinda Baruah and others. Bihu to a great extent has been popularized by the Bihu ‘Samrat’( king ), of Assam, Khagen Mahanta. Unlike the rural version, the dancers danced on a makeshift elevated stage in an open area that came to be known as a Bihutoli. Many such Bihutolis have sprouted since then in Guwahati and other urban areas. The performances are not confined to the bihu dance form, but may incorporate all forms of theatrical performances to keep the audience enthralled well into the early hours. Performances could include standup comedy, to concerts by solo singers. The stage form of bihu has become so popular, that organizers have begun extending the celebrations to bohagi bidai, or farewell to the Bohag month, which are similar performances held a month later.
Rongali is the word of fun. Bohag , also called Rongali stands for the fun and enjoyment. It embodies with the colours of life. Bihu is the introduction of being an Assamese. It is a very rich festival. Till the world survives Bihu will be flowing in the blood of Assamese people.
”O jaan oi aakakh khon dhunia
O jaan oi tora re jilika
O jaan oi monore horogot
O jaan oi tumi mur menoka”

(very popular modern bihu song which depicts the picture of love)
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