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Bihu

Bihu denotes a set of three different cultural festivals of Assam and celebrated by the Assamese
diaspora around the world. Though they own their origins to ancient rites and practices they have
taken definite urban features and have become popular festivals in urban and commercialized
milieus in the recent decades. Bihu is also used to imply Bihu dance and Bihu folk songs. The
Rongali Bihu or the Bohag Bihu is an important festival of Assam. The most important festivals of
Assam are the Bihus, celebrated with fun in abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of
caste, creed, and belief.
The word Bihu is derived from the language of the Dimasa people. Bi means "to ask" and Shu
means "peace". The wordBishu gradually became Bihu to accommodate linguistic
preferences. BIHU. In Assam, Rongali Bihu draws from many different traditions Austro-Asiatic,
Sino-Burmese and Indo-Aryanand is celebrated with great fervor. Celebrations begin in the middle
of April and generally continue for a month. This is the traditional new year. In addition there are two
other Bihus: Kongali Bihu in October (associated with the September equinox) and Bhogali Bihu in
January (associated with the January solstice). Like most other Indian festivals, Bihu (all three) is
associated with farming; as the traditional Assamese society is predominantly agricultural. In fact,
similar festivals are also celebrated around the same time elsewhere in India. Bihu is also celebrated
overseas by the Assamese community living in different countries around the globe
The three Bihus
In a year there are three Bihu festivals in Assam - in the months of Bohaag (Baisakh, the middle of
April), Maagh (the middle of January), and Kaati (Kartik, the middle of October). The Bihus have
been celebrated in Assam since ancient times. Each Bihu coincides with a distinctive phase in the
farming calendar. The most important and colourful of the three Bihu festival is the Spring festival
"Bohag Bihu" or Rongali Bihu celebrated in the middle of April. This is also the beginning of the
agricultural season. Bihu is celebrated in all parts of Assam and by people belonging to all castes
and religions.

The Seven days


The " Gos Tolor " Bihu dance, An open air Bihu Dance

Main article: Haat Bihu


Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu festival continues for seven days and called as Xaat Bihu. The seven
days are known as Chot Bihu, Goru Bihu, Manuh Bihu, Kutum Bihu, Senehi Bihu, Mela Bihu and
Chera Bihu. full good ans
Bhogali Bihu
Bhogali Bihu (mid-January, also called Magh Bihu) comes from the word Bhog that is eating and
enjoyment During the night, they prepare food and there is community feasting everywhere. There is
also exchange of sweets and greetings at this time. The entire night (called Uruka) is spent around
a Meji with people singing bihu songs, beating Dhol, a typical kind of drums or playing games. Boys
roam about in the dark stealing firewood and vegetables for fun. The next morning they take a bath
and burn the main Meji. People gather around the Meji and throw Pithas (rice cakes) and betel nuts
to it while burning it at the same time. They offer their prayers to the God
of Fire and mark the end of the harvesting year. Thereafter they come
back home carrying pieces of half burnt firewood for being thrown among
fruit trees for favourable results. All the trees in the compound are tied to
bamboo strips or paddy stems. Different types of sports like Buffalofight, Egg-fight, Cock-fight, Nightingale-fight etc. are held throughout the
day. There are other conventional festivals observed by various ethnicculturalgroups. Me-dam-me-phi, Ali-aye-ligang, Porag, Garja, Hapsa
Hatarnai, Kherai are few among them. The koch celebrates this bihu as
pushna. The Uruka comes on 13 January followed by the Bihu on 14
January.

Instruments used in Bihu


Dhol (Drum)
Taal
Pepa (An instrument made of buffalo horn)
Toka
Baanhi (Flute)
Xutuli
Gogona
Bihu elsewhere
Bihu is also seen to be celebrated abroad. Many Bihu associations / committees exist elsewhere
where this festival is celebrated with enthusiasm. The London Bihu Committee (LBC), UK is one of
them amongst others.