Rongali Bihu is the one of the major festivals celebrated in Assam. This festival of Bihu is an agricultural festival and notably there are three Bihu festivals in the year known as Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu, Bhugali (Magh Bihu) and Kangali (Kati Bihu).
These festivals mark the distinctive phase in the farming calendar. Rongali Bihu marks the agricultural New Year at the advent of seeding time.
The other two festivals - Kati Bihu, marks the completion of the sowing and the transplanting of paddies. While the last, Magh Bihu signifies the end of the harvesting period.
This Assamese festival is celebrated with great zeal right through the country. However, the first bihu - Rongali is celebrated with greatest excitement since it marks the arrival of the spring season or the agricultural season.
It is said that people of all faith celebrate this Rongali Bihu in forms of singing and traditional folk dances. The Rongali Bihu festival of Assam gets its name from a Sanskrit Vishuvam which means ' vernal equinox'.
In simple words, this comes to terms when day and night is of equal duration. On this Rongali Bihu, Assamese welcome the season of spring and pray fervently for a rich harvest.
Rongali Bihu Customs & Traditions
Assamese celebrate this beautiful harvest festival by wearing colourful clothes. They visit their neighbours, well wishers and relatives on the occasion and greet each other with sweets and other delicacies.
On these special days, the traditional food of Rongali Bihu is also prepared, which is known as - Pitha. Apart from this special cake, Assamese also indulge in till ladoo (recipe) and coconut ladoo (recipe) treats.
This wonderful harvest festival is also dedicated to livestock and cattle. The cattle is also fed with homemade goodies and worshipped, giving thanks.
How is Rongali Bihu Celebrated?
Since this festival is a colourful one, young girls and boys in the village wear traditional dhoti, gamosa and saadar mekhela attires.
They add music in the air with Bihu songs which is often accompanied with the dhol, pepa (buffalo hornpipe) and gagana tunes.
To mark the harvest festival, Assam is seen in a mood of gaiety and festivity, fairs, games and other fun filled activities till the end of the festival.