GUWAHATI, Jan 12 - The people of the State have geared up for Magh Bihu that begins on Sunday. Also called Bhogali Bihu as it’s essentially a harvesting festival symbolising abundance, the occasion is preceded by Uruka, the night of feast and merrymaking before the Bihu day.
The pre-Bhogali festivities find their best expression in the markets, as people in their hordes throng the bazars looking for the best of foodstuff, especially fish, meat, milk, curd, cream, egg, chira, hurum, muri, etc. In equal demand are the various ready-made Bihu delicacies, even though some people prefer home-made delicacies.
The city too has come under the grip of the Bhogali spirit, with all its markets witnessing a huge rush today. The rush will intensify tomorrow, the day of Uruka.
The enthusiasm of the Bihu revellers could be seen today at the markets at Uzanbazar, Kachari, Ganeshguri, Beltola, New Guwahati Railway Colony, Paltan Bazar, Fancy Bazar, Ulubari, Six Mile, etc.
In the city, even the skyrocketing prices of fish, meat, etc., have failed to act as a dampener to the people’s enthusiasm who hit the markets with gusto, laying their hands on items of their choice.
The once-ubiquitous community meji – a thatch-and-bamboo structure which is consigned to flames early morning on the Bihu day as homage to Agni, the Fire God – may no longer be abundantly seen across the urban landscape, but it is still visible at places on the city outskirts. The bhelaghar – a makeshift shelter made of straw, bamboo and leaves where Bihu-revellers spend the Uruka night merrymaking before setting it on flames next morning – is also a rarity in the city landscape.
But beyond the city landscape, bhelaghars of various sizes and shapes – many modelled on historical structures and monuments and some depicting important events – can still be seen.
Many educational institutions and organisations of the city, too, have put up mejis, many of which were burnt this morning itself in view of the holiday in schools tomorrow.
In the city, the community Bihu spirit can still be seen in some areas where residents under the banner of their respective citizens’ committees are celebrating the occasion together.
Meanwhile, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, AGP, Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Lawyers’ Association Guwahati, among others, have extended their Bihu greetings to the people.
Bihu at city school: The teachers, students and staff of Nilachal Jatiya Vidyalaya celebrated Bhogali Bihu today on the school premises. The brief programme saw burning of meji and presentation of cultural items to the accompaniment of dhol, pepa, etc.
Speaking on the occasion, the principal of the school dwelt on the need to stick to the rich traditions of the State.