The Bihu festival is one of the most significant cultural festivals celebrated in the northeastern state of Assam, India. It is a time of great joy and merriment for the people of Assam, and the festival is marked by colorful celebrations, traditional music and dance performances, and a range of other cultural activities.
The festival is celebrated thrice a year, with each festival coinciding with a particular agricultural cycle. The three Bihu festivals are called Rongali Bihu (in mid-April), Kongali Bihu (in mid-October), and Bhogali Bihu (in mid-January). Of these, Rongali Bihu is the most widely celebrated and is also referred to as Bohag Bihu, as it falls in the month of Bohag in the Assamese calendar.
The Bihu festival in Guwahati is a grand affair, and the entire city is enveloped in a festive atmosphere during the celebrations. The festivities last for several days and involve a wide range of cultural activities and events.
One of the highlights of the festival is the traditional Bihu dance, which is performed by both men and women in colorful and vibrant traditional attire. The dance is accompanied by the sounds of the dhol, pepa, and other traditional musical instruments, and the performers move in sync with the music, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
Another important aspect of the festival is the preparation and sharing of traditional Assamese delicacies. People in Guwahati and other parts of Assam prepare a range of mouth-watering dishes using locally sourced ingredients, including rice, fish, meat, and vegetables. Some of the popular dishes include pitha, a type of rice cake, and a variety of fish curries.
The festival also involves a range of other cultural activities, such as boat races, bull fights, and traditional games and sports. People in Guwahati and other parts of Assam participate in these activities with great enthusiasm and zeal, adding to the overall festive atmosphere of the festival.
The Bihu festival also serves as an occasion for people in Guwahati and other parts of Assam to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage. It is a time for people to forget their differences and come together in the spirit of unity and brotherhood.
In recent years, efforts have been made to promote and preserve the traditional cultural practices associated with the Bihu festival. The government of Assam has taken several initiatives to provide financial and other support to local artists, musicians, and performers, ensuring that the traditional cultural practices associated with the festival are kept alive and thriving.
In conclusion, the Bihu festival in Guwahati is a vibrant and colorful celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Assam. The festival is marked by a range of cultural activities and events, including traditional dance performances, the preparation and sharing of traditional Assamese delicacies, and a range of other cultural practices. It is a time for people to come together and celebrate their unity and brotherhood, and efforts are being made to promote and preserve the traditional cultural practices associated with the festival.