Bohag Bihu is the national festival in Asam as it marks the beginning of the New Year.Bohag Bihu reflects the coming of spring and usually falls on April 15 every year.Rituals and customary practices of Bohag Bihu begin from April 13. This is a biggest festival in Assam and is celebrated in every corner of the state. There are three stages of a Bihu festival namelyBohag Bihu ,Rongali Bihu(midth of April),Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu (midth of January) and Kaati Bihu Bihu ( October/ November).
Asam is a land of fairs and festivals.The colorful festivals of Asam reflects the culture,tradition and lifestyle of Asam.Most of the festivals celebrated have their roots in the diverse faith and belief of the people.Bohag Bihu is the most important day of all.
This day begins with the sowing of seeds, Kaati Bihu marks the complete process of sowing and transplanting of paddies and the Magh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting period.All the three Bihu festivals of Assam are related to harvesting.Being a agriculture based state, Assam, has always marked this Bihu as the symbol of joy.
It is also called 'Rongoli Bohag Bihu',since the word 'Rongali' is originated from 'Rong',which means happiness and celebrations.So this festival represents happiness of the people.On the eve of the new year,i.e., a day prior to the new year 'Goru Bihu' is celbrated.
On this day, all the cattles are worshiped. They have been taken down to river, ponds etc.for a bath and also some rituals are done. On the day of new year, 'Manhuor Bihu' is celebrated.This day is the actual Rongali Bihu day and the celebrations start from the very early morning .
The first day of Bohag Bihu is called Goru Bihu Cow Festival .Cow being the holy Hindu animal is washed, bedecked and worshiped on this day.On the eve of Bohag Bihu, the womenfolk clean clothes and prepare special Bihu delicacies like 'Chira' & 'Pitha' while men collect necessary items like 'Tara Pogha' (ropes for the cattle).
This day is followed by Manuh (human)Bihu on April 15, the New Year Day on which homage is paid to elders and relatives. The next day after this is called vGosain Bihu. On this day religious activities take place.It is celebrated with distinctive Bihu dances. People are in full form and dance on various Bihu geets called husuris. This festival lasts for several days. People wear new and traditional clothes like dhoti, gamocha and saadar mekhela .
On this day there is a very important ritual.People gift 'Gamosa' or 'Bihuan' to the elders.Every house cooks various ptiha(sweets) and tasty 'Jolpan' is served.People take blessings of others and meet together and the youngstersperform Bihu dance by singing traiditional religious songs called 'Husori'. This is a fun way to give and take blessings and wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year.This husori continues for the whole month of Bohag.
Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu dances havetransited from villages to towns and from open fields to auditoriums.It has lost the basic culture and tradition but has become more popular and it's getting popularity across the world. There are various types of Bihu dances.
Rongali reflects the rich culture of Assamese society.Bihu songs involve various Assamese folk musical instruments like dhol, pepa, gogona, taal,toka,hutuli, etc. The Bihu dance is related to rich colourful attire of the Assamese culture.This Bohag Bihu also involves various delicious Assamese recipes.