When different tribes and culture come together in celebration, it is a splendid show. In Assam, it is festival time throughout the year. Festivals in Assam is an extension of the way of life, reflecting Assamese tradition and heritage. Further carrying forward traditions, most Assamese festivals usually take place in a community setting–either at Namghor (place for congregational worship) or out in the open. Here are five such festivals to showcase the best of Assam:
Bohag or Rongali Bihu
There are three Bihu festivals in a year coinciding with different phases of farming. The beginning of the farming season is marked by the most important of the three Bihu festivals–Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu in mid-April. Bihu naas (dance) and geet (song), pitha (traditional rice-based food), laaru (coconut sweets) and jolpan (flattened rice with cream, curd and jaggery) are an important part of this celebration.
Kongali or Kati Bihu
A solemn celebration that signifies the period when paddy is still in a growing stage and granaries are yet to be replenished. Kati Bihu is celebrated in mid-October.
Bhogali or Magh Bihu
This festival is for eating and merriment. It marks the end of the harvesting season. Meji or bonfire is the most aspect of the night. Bonfire and community feasting amidst Bihu geet and naas takes place mid-January.
This festival is dedicated to ancestor worship. Observed by the Ahom community, the festival takes place on January 31. It is believed that of the festival is not celebrated the way it should, the society will face the wrath of the deities in the form of natural calamities, social unrest, loss of lives and property. One festival that definitely requires full attention!
Most important festival of the Bodos of Assam, Bwisagu or Baisagu marks the start of the New Year. The first week of the month of Baisakh is dedicated to the worship of cattle, man, dog, pic, fowl, birds and relatives & friends–and in that order.