Festivals are a very prominent part of the culture in India. Festivals excite all of us irrespective of our ages. It freshens up our mood and delights our soul. Festivals provide us with peace, love, tranquility and bliss all at once. It instils love and respect towards our culture and strengthens it. Festivals are such occasion where we meet our friends and relatives and get a chance to enjoy together. It breaks the monotonous routine life.There are a lot of festivals, celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm. We all know about Dusserah, Diwali, Holi, Eid and Christmas but we know very little about ‘Magh Bihu.’ and I must say, if you do not have knowledge about this festival, then you are missing something very interesting in your life. Therefore, I suggest you go ahead and read this wonderful article on the festival ‘Magh Bihu’
There are three different kinds of Bihu celebrated in the north-eastern state of Assam, but as a fresh, new year has arrived and it is the month of January, so I decided to focus on’ Magh Bihu’ which is the last of the three Bihu celebrated in Assam.
Magh Bihu is celebrated every year in the month of January in the north-eastern state of Assam. It is also known as ’Bhogali Bihu’ and ‘Maghar Domahi.’ The term ‘bhog’ means food which signifies the abundance of crops as during this festival people enjoy various dishes together. The festival which is called Bihu in Assam is also celebrated in other parts of India and is known by different names such as Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Lohri.
Significance of Magh Bihu -
Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu has rich historical significance. As we all know, the primary occupation in India is farming. People mostly rely on agriculture for a living. Thus, Assam celebrates this festival during the time of harvest as it marks the end of harvest season in Assam. There is a feeling of happiness and contentment in the air around this time. The farmers feel a great sigh of relief after the tremendous hard work and this festival is the time to taste the fruit of their hard work. It brings wealth, prosperity and ultimate tranquillity to the farmers as they sell their harvest. They feel financially or economically upgraded as the seeds of their hard work soon, begin to ripe.
Uruka Night -
In the ‘uruka night’, people get together and make arrangements outside their houses, cook delicious food and enjoy together. People enjoy an entire night by singing Bihu songs and tapping their feet to the rhythm of ‘dhol ‘ which is a traditional musical instrument. They also play different kinds of games and exchange sweets and other gifts among each other. These activities take place under a small cottage; known as ‘bhelghor’, build especially for this occasion.
The Day Of Magh Bihu -
Image courtesy- magicalassam.com
The day of Magh Bihu is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm and is a cherished by people of all age groups. On that day, a structure made up of hay, wood and stray called ‘meji’ that was cut down during the time of harvest is burnt which signifies an end of harvest season. People worship the fire god and wish to have an even better harvest next year. The fire also warms our body against the winters. The picture looks quite serene and we feel a wave of positive vibes as we see people laughing and feasting together.
Special Dishes -
Image courtesy- aboutfestivalsofindia.com
A special kind of dish known as ‘pitha’ is prepared by the women of the house. ‘Pitha’ is a roll of rice material with coconut stuffed inside which people relish during this day. There are also other dishes like ‘jalpan’ which consists of ‘sira-doi’ a combination of puff rice with Yogurt and ‘laru’ which is also made of coconut. These are extremely delicious and mouth-watering dishes which everyone must try in their lives. People visit their friends and relatives in order to wish them good luck and offer them these dishes.
So, this is all about Magh Bihu whose beauty attracts many outsiders in India and also outside India. It is an amazing festival which everyone should celebrate at least once in their lifetime and I am sure they will continue to celebrate it.