Bihu 2023: A Beautiful Assamese Festival
Assam is a beautiful north-eastern state from the seven sisters in India. Many festivals are celebrated in Assam, and Bihu is one of the significant festival celebrated in this day. Bihu is observed in three types with all the fun, and without any discrimination based on caste, creed, or customs.
Magh Bihu and Bohag Bihu 2023 Dates
Magh Bihu 2023 Date: January 15, 2023
Bohag Bihu 2023 Date: April 14, 2023 to April 16, 2023
The Three Types of Bihu Festivals
Bihu is celebrated with fun and enthusiasm by the Assamese community. It has three types, ‘Bohag Bihu’, also known as Rongali Bihu, ‘Kongali Bihu’ or Kati Bihu, and ‘Bhogali Bihu’, which is also famous with the name of Magh Bihu or Maghar Domahi. Assamese people celebrate all three Bihu forms in the middle of April, mid-October, and mid-January.
The story about Bihu celebrations in Assam begins in ancient times. History says the first Bihu Dance performance was held in 1964. Every form of Bihu is associated with a different phase of the farming calendar. The Bhogali Bihu is connected with the word Bhog, and it means to eat and enjoy. Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu is a farm harvest festival. Magh Bihu also means the Bihu of fun and enjoyment. It marks the end of the harvest season during January and February (Maagha).
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The Magh Bihu 2023: Celebration and Importance
In the Assamese month of Pooh, people begin to celebrate the festival of Magh Bihu. On the last day of the month, Pooh is the start of Assamese Magh Bihu. Generally, it is the 29th of the Pooh, and according to the Gregorian calendar, it is on Jan 15, 2023. In today’s times, people celebrate Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu for just one day. Previously, the people of Assam celebrated the festival of Magh Bihu for the entire month of Magh, hence it is known as Magh Bihu.
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Uruka, A Night of Celebration
The night before the day of the festival is ‘Uruka’. It is the 28th day of Pooh when the people of Assam enjoy cooking merry and together relish the bonfire at night. The month of Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is full of fun and festivities. As the granaries of Assam are overflowing this month, people tend to do a lot of feasting.
Assamese men make Bhelaghar, a makeshift cottage nearby river. Another thing they have to make is Meji. On the night of Uruka, people are busy cooking festive food and organising community feasts. They share festive sweets and greet each other to enjoy the festival. They celebrate by playing Bihu songs and music. Assamese people also use Dhols and play different games. The boys enjoy the night with fun firewood robbery and vegetable stealing.
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The Festive Day of Bihu
People in Assam start the day by bathing and burning the main Meji. Later, they throw Pithas (rice cakes) and betel nuts in the fire. In this way, they pray to the Agni Dev to finish off with the harvest period. Women share the Prasad with everyone around. After that, people go back to their homes and take along the half-burnt firewood with them. They throw the firewood at fruit trees for positive results of prayers. The trees are tied with Bamboo strips and paddy stems.
The Bihu Festival is also a sports festival. Many sports like Buffalo fight, Cock fight, and Nightingale fight are organised for the whole day. The young ones in this day offer Gamosa to the older people. A Gamosa is a white handwoven cloth with a red outline on its three sides and red woven motifs on the other one. Bihu is a great fun festival with all the festive spark for enjoyment.
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The festival of Bihu has become the identity of Assam. This festival involves a lot of enjoyment, and food, and is celebrated with much enthusiasm by all the Assamese families all over the world.
May Bihu 2023 bring all the joy and abundance to the Assamese people and for everyone!