Bihu: The pride of Assam

Who knows Assam but not Bihu? Assam, the first queen of the seven queens of North-east India, is famous for its folk cultures and rituals, especially Bihu. It is famous worldwide, and people from different corners of the world come to Assam to enjoy Bihu over here. The word ‘Bihu’ came from the Deori word ‘Bisu', which means "splendid happiness". Bihu festivals are celebrations of happiness. Celebration of Farmers The festival Bihu is associated with farming. Bihu is the festival celebrating the integrity of the people with agriculture and fertility. Women from farmer families do take part in singing and dancing in a group and men used to play Dhamsa, Madal with a dancing style in the festival. Which festival and when The people of Assam celebrate a total of three Bihu festivals in a year. 'Bohag Bihu' during the seeding period, 'Kati Bihu' while cutting the crops and 'Magh Bihu' or 'Bhog Bihu' during the completion of an agrarian cycle- the festival is a complete celebration of agriculture. History of Bihu In the ancestral period, the tribe called Khasia used to live in the valleys of Assam. They used to do paddy cultivation, and Bihu used to be their celebration. During, 13th century, the Ahom community came to Assam and gradually replaced paddy cultivation with Sali cultivation(farming of wet rice) and now Bihu festivals are celebrated around Sali cultivation. Arts and Culture of Bihu During the Bihu festival, different tribes come with different forms of folk songs, dance forms, and folk food cuisines. The speciality of the art forms is in their togetherness. People come together, hold each other- create a circle to celebrate folk music and dance in a group. They celebrate the dependence and connection with nature and pay thanks to nature for providing so many things. 'Magh Bihu', also known as 'Bhogali Bihu', is a celebration of 'Bhog’ (enjoyment) and homage to nature. New year celebration: Bohag Bihu Assamese do follow the Hindu or Buddhist calendar, and on its new year, a seven day-long cultural fest is organised by the Assamese called Haat Bihu. It starts with Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu on the first day of the year. The next seven days are named Chot Bihu, Goru Bihu, Manuh Bihu, Kutum Bihu, Senehi Bihu, Mela Bihu and Chera Bihu, respectively. Bihu Naas, Bihu Geet and joyous celebration of seven days welcome the new year. In these many kinds of Bihu festivals, one can enjoy different kinds of art forms, performances, music and musical instruments of this specific culture, such as Pepa, Dhol, Banhi, Taal, Gogona, Xutili etc.