Assam prepares for Magh Bihu celebrations amid bird flu scare
- This year, due to bird flu the government has banned import of poultry including chicken and duck from other states through the western border. This is expected to lead to a surge in prices of mutton, chicken, fish, duck etc.
The annual Magh Bihu, also known as Bhogali Bihu, which marks the end of the harvesting season and widespread feasting, will be celebrated across Assam on Thursday amid the bird flu scare in several parts of the country.
Uruka, which falls on the night before Bihu, is when people across Assam enjoy traditional Assamese vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies along with family members and loved ones.
But this year, due to bird flu the government has banned import of poultry including chicken and duck from other states through the western border. This is expected to lead to a surge in prices of mutton, chicken, fish, duck etc.
“Assam has not recorded any case of bird flu, but the ban on import has been placed to ensure that the disease doesn’t reach our state. There’s no threat of bird flu if people consume poultry products which are cooked properly,” said Ashok Barman, director, animal husbandry and veterinary department.
The ban on import hasn’t affected markets which are flooded with fish, chicken, duck and other products from within the state. People across the state are also busy preparing traditional sweets called ‘larus’ and ‘pithas’ for the festival.
As has been seen in previous years, villages in many parts of Assam took part in collective fishing in rivers, ponds and water bodies to prepare for the Uruka feast on Wednesday night.
In villages across Assam, people are also giving finishing touches to traditional ‘mejis’ and ‘bhela ghars’ (temporary night shelters made of bamboo and straw) which are burnt on the morning of Magh Bihu.
“Bhogali Bihu is a estival fof feasting and celebrations. True to the spirit of Bhogali Bihu where ‘mejis’ are set on fire, we should all give up our ill feelings and consign them in the flames of ‘mejis’ to strengthen our bond of unity,” Governor Jagadish Mukhi said in his Magh Bihu greetings.
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