Assam celebrates Rongali Bihu with traditional gaiety

From Rama Krishna Newar

GUWAHATI, Apr 15: Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu  or Xaat Bihu is a traditional ethnic festival celebrated in NE India, particularly in Assam by the indigenous ethnic groups to welcome Assamese New Year. The festival is of mostly aboriginal origin comprising Tibeto-Burman and Tai elements. It usually falls in 2nd week of April, historically signifying the time of harvest. Every year it falls on 14th day of April.

The holiday unites the different native communities of Assam regardless of their backgrounds and promotes the celebration of ethnic diversity.

The residents of Arya Smart Living in Abhaypur also celebrated the festival with a male and female team danced to the tune of drums, pepa, taal and toka as melodious song rented the air over the mighty Brahmaputra River. The team included few students from Guwahati IIT.  This was an initiative of Arya Smart Living Socity president R K Pradhan.

Rongali Utsav is organised in Guwahati annually to showcases tribal culture of Assam to the world.

In Assam locally the onset of ‘Bohag’ (Assamese calendar) marks the starting of Rongali Bihu. The three primary types of Bihu are Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu.

Each festival historically recognizes a different agricultural cycle of the paddy crops. During Rongali Bihu there are seven pinnacle phases: ‘Sot’, ‘Raati’, ‘Goru’, ‘Manuh’, ‘Kutum’, ‘Mela’ and ‘Sera’.

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