Assam's most important and popular festival Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu which heralds the Assamese new year began here today amidst traditional revelry and gaiety.
The festival, which also celebrates the advent of spring, begins on the last day of the month of 'Chot' (Chaitra) when farmers observe 'goru bihu' when cattle are given a ceremonial bath in rivers and ponds, tied with new ropes, rubbed with turmeric paste and worshipped.
Assam Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi greeted the people on the occasion.
Patnaik in his message said that the festival occupies an important place in the hearts and minds of the people of Assam and it brings out the rich cultural heritage of the Assamese society.
"I am sure that this festival will be celebrated in the spirit of friendship and brotherhood promoting a feeling of fraternity among all communities", he added.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who participated in several Bihu functions here, hoped that it would foster goodwill and strengthen the base of society.
Gogoi while inaugurating the Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani at Latasil broke into a Bihu dance himself and played the drum along with his son Gaurav.
The festival is marked by singing of folk songs with young men and women dancing to to its tunes with gay abandon.
The highlight of the festival are the various cultural functions. All programmes this year are scheduled to begin with songs of Assam's cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika, who died in November.
In the city a day-long programme has been organised at the historic Judges Field by All Assam Students Union. It was inaugurated by renowned classical singer Parveen Sultana and attended by prominent citizens and commoners alike.
Rongali Bihu Begins in Assam
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