GUWAHATI, April 16 - Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu – the biggest festival of the State that heralds the Assamese New Year – was celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm across the State.
In the capital city of Guwahati also, people from all walks of life took part in the celebrations to welcome the New Year with aplomb. Most of the bihutolis (community Bihu pandals) have been having functions ranging from three to five days since last Saturday.
The first day of the Bohag Bihu, known as ‘Goru Bihu’ was celebrated on Saturday. On that day, the morning was marked by garlanding of cows with wreaths of vegetables, after which the animals are taken to ponds and rivers for bathing.
It is an occasion dedicated to cattle, which is intrinsically linked to the State’s agrarian economy and rural life. People also fondly beat the animals with dighalati leaves (a plant with medicinal values) to ward off fleas and insects and sang, Lao kha bengena kha, bachare bachare barhi ja (eat bottle gourd and brinjal and be a robust animal).
Sunday was the second day of celebrations and marked the ‘Manuh Bihu’, where the thrust was on merry-making and the general Bihu celebrations.
The day began with the young seeking the blessings of the elders in the morning. Husori troupes visited households, especially in the rural areas, and presented Bihu song and dance performances. People also visited relatives and friends.
Across the State, colourful Bihu functions have also started and they will continue for several days.
In Guwahati, celebrations were organized by dozens of bihutolis across various localities of the city. Besides the regular Bihu song-and-dance and husori competitions, the organisers have roped in reputed artistes to perform in the functions. Sports and literary contests among children were also held.