New Delhi: The onset of spring season in India has a special significance in the hearts of many as it brings with it a season of harvest festivals. Different regions of India have their own ways of celebrating the season. Today is the occasion of Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, one of the most important festivals of the north east India, especially Assam as it marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and traditionally signifies the season of spring and harvest.
When CitySpidey spoke to Sanjeev, a student of Delhi University who hails from Dhekiajuli, Sonitpur, Assam, about the festival, he said it is an agricultural festival that brings the people together. While talking about the celebration of Bihu, he said, “The entire family and everybody else comes together to celebrate Bihu, a Gamusa is given to the elders as Bihuwan or an offering. Also, everybody dresses traditionally and performs the Bihu dance on the occasion.”
However, the students who are away from their home during the festival have their own way of celebrating it. Sanjeev, while talking about the same, told about the All Assamese Student Association (AASA), an association of Assamese students studying in Delhi with more than 500 members. He further added, “We organise the Bohagi Utsav to celebrate Bihu, singers and performers are invited to the festival. We all dance together and perform Bihu while dressing traditionally. In the Utsav, we celebrate and embrace the Assamese culture. During the day, we all play games like Tekeli Bhonga and Koni juj.”
Jishnu, another student of Delhi University who hails from Guwahati, Assam, laid emphasis on how Covid has affected the Bihu celebrations. He said, “Last year, the traditional celebration of Bihu with family was not much affected because of Covid, but as the festival has been commercialised now with competitions like Bihu Empress, Bihu Queen and Bihu Prince and other beauty pageants and dance competitions, such events had to suffer the wrath of Covid. However, this year, things are comparatively better and people are celebrating Bihu as always.”
This seven day long festival holds a special place in the heart of Assam and on this auspicious occasion, let us wish our Assamese friends a very happy Bihu, or as they say ‘Bihur Xudhassa Jonalu’.