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Bihu- Origin and Significance

India is a land of festivities. Bihu, one of the chief festivals in the state of Assam is known as the “National Festival of Assam”. The term “Bihu” originated from a Sanskrit word “Bishu”, which means that people ask for prosperity from the Gods during the harvesting season. As per belief, the word Bihu is a combination of two words, bi meaning “ask” and hu meaning “give”.

The festival of Bihu is celebrated by the Assamese people irrespective of religion, caste or creed. It is also celebrated overseas by the Assamese diaspora community living worldwide. The Assamese celebrate three kinds of Bihu in a year, Bohaag or Rongali Bihu, celebrated in the middle of April month; Maagh or Bhogali Bihu, celebrated in the middle of January month and Kaati or Kongali Bihu, which is celebrated in the middle of October month. Out of these, Rongali Bihu which celebrates the Assamese new year and the spring festival is the most important. The Bhogali Bihu or the Magh Bihu is the one that is about food. The Kongali or Kati Bihu reflects a season of short supplies and is an animistic festival. Since, Assam is a fertile land, the occupation of the people here is mostly agriculture. Bihu basically celebrates the change of seasons. All the three types of Bihu signify an important phase in the farming calendar of Assam. The term Bihu is also used to imply Bihu dance otherwise called Bihu Naas.

By: Anuja Arora


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