Bohag Bihu 2022: Date, history, traditions, celebration of the Assamese New Year
Bohag Bihu 2022: Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu marks the start of the harvest season. Here's all you want to know about the Assamese New Year.
Bohag Bihu 2022: Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, one of the biggest festivals of Assam, falls in second week of April every year, marking the beginning of the harvest period. This year Bohag Bihu is being observed from April 14 to April 16. The first day of the Hindu solar calendar is celebrated in states of Punjab, Tamil Nadhu, Orissa, Kerala, Manipur, West Bengal among others with different names and traditions. Rongali means joy in Assamese and the festival indeed is the time to rejoice and make merry with family and community.
Bihu is celebrated thrice in a year; apart from Rongali or Bohag Bihu - Kati Bihu or Kongaali Bihu and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu are celebrated to mark different stages of harvesting period.
Bohag Bihu, celebrated in April, marks the start of the harvest season and it's the time of seeding. It is also celebrated as Assamese New Year. Magh Bihu which falls in January is about spreading joy and happiness towards the wrapping up of the harvest period.
On the first day of Bohag Bihu celebrations, people wake up early, apply a paste of turmeric and raw urad dal on their body and take a bath after which they seek elders’ blessings and then go out to meet friends, relatives and neighbours to wish them and eat lip-smacking traditional dishes of Til Laru, Pitha, Murir Laru, Ghila Pitha, Poka Mithoi among others. The different days of Rongali Bihu are dedicated to cattle, household deities, handlooms, faming equipment, among others. Dancing to the tunes of folk songs known as Bihu Geet, feasting and exchanging gifts form other traditions of the festival.
The history of Bihu is said to go back to ancient times, around 3500 BC, when people made fire sacrifices for better harvest. It is said that an agrarian tribe who lived in the north-eastern part of the world thousands of years back celebrated the festival.