Assam Gears Up to Celebrate “Magh Bihu”

Guwahati: With “uruka” preparations, Assam gears up to celebrate Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu on Saturday. There are many different sorts of fish in the markets.

Magh Bihu occurs at the middle of January, in the local month of “Magh.” As it is observed with communal feasts following the annual harvest it is also known as “Bhogali Bihu.”

For the first time since the covid outbreak began in 2020, Bihu will be observed widely across the state this year.

The cuisine which is created from the plentiful grains left over from the harvest is the festival’s main attraction. The night before “Bhogali Bihu,” which might occur on January 13 or 14 depending on the year is known as “Uruka” or “the night of feasts.”

The villagers start the festival preparations in “Bhelaghor” or communal kitchens which are made of bamboo.

To commemorate the well-known holiday, a variety of meat, vegetable and sweet dishes such as Pitha and Laru are prepared using sesame, molasses and coconut.

Men build mejis (bonfires) and bhelaghars out of bamboo, leaves and thatch to mark the start of the biggest post-harvest festivity.

The harvesting season comes to a conclusion with this Bihu festivity. In Assam, celebrations include feasts that last a full week. Singing, dancing, feasts and bonfires are used to celebrate the holiday. According to custom, after eating the food that was prepared for the feast in the bhelaghar, people burn the huts the next morning.

The women makes several types of pithas (rice cakes), laru (made from rice powder), sesame, molasses (black sugarcane syrup), puffed rice, flattened rice and coconut. People of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds gather for feasts in the open paddy fields to celebrate the event. Folk instruments are played, celebratory songs are sung and enjoyable traditional games are played.

To commemorate the occasion, people also pray to the God of Fire and gather up pieces of partially burned firewood toss them among the other fruit trees for the coming abundant harvest.

Harvest festivals like Lohri, Bihu and Pongal are observed in different parts of India as a means of surviving the chilly winters and advancing toward the livelier season of spring. The holiday not only ushers in an auspicious year but also brings the family together as they share special foods and dance and sing all night long.

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