Assam has been indulging in the celebration of the Bihu festival for a very long time. Bihu is one of Assam’s most prominent cultural events, celebrating the changing seasons. It primarily serves the state’s rural culture and civilisation, and it signifies the start of the Assamese New Year.
History Of Bihu Dance
Bihu’s history dates to 3500 BC, when people performed fire sacrifices to improve their harvest. According to history, In 1694, the first Bihu dance was performed. The festival is claimed to have been held thousands of years ago by rural people living in the north-eastern corner of the earth.
Bihu is celebrated at different times of the year.
Here are the significant details of Bihu:
- In April, Rongali Bihu is celebrated
- Kongali Bihu is celebrated in October
- Bhogali Bihu is celebrated in January.
During Bhogali Bihu, various sports are also organised, including cock fighting and buffalo fighting. Women prepare delicacies such as Chira, Mangsho, and Pitha on the eve of Bihu.
What Are The Types Of Bihu?
The Bihu festival mainly represents three different festivals, namely Bohaag Bihu, Kati Bihu, and Magh Bihu.
Bohaag brings Assamese New Year and is celebrated in Baisakh (mid of April). It’s the most important festival of the three. Farmers take their livestock to a pond or river on this day to bathe them, which is regarded as a holy process.
They then make a Mah-Haldi paste from turmeric powder and pulses, which is applied to the body of the livestock. The animals subsequently fondle the twigs of Makhiyati and Dighalati plants.
Kati or Kongali Bihu brings the celebration of the harvest season. The Assamese light lamps and pray to God for a successful and growing harvesting season.
It brings the end of the harvest season. This festival is commemorated by a feast known as Bhuj. Several tribes and groups commemorate this occasion with love and dedication.
What Is The Importance Of Bihu?
At the start of the harvesting season, the Bohag Bihu signifies a new year. The Kaati Bihu commemorates the culmination of paddock sowing and transplanting. The Kaati Bihu, the celebration of the impoverished, is also known as Kongaali Bihu. The Magh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting season. The food festival, Magh Bihu, is also known as Bhogaali Bihu.
Bihu Dance’s Accomplishment
Bihu dance has become extremely popular in various regions of the globe. It was a memorable occasion for the state in 2012 when trained Bihu dancers represented Bihu dance at the London Olympics.
What is the Bihu festival all about? Bohaag Bihu brings excellent enjoyment to Assam. It celebrates the start of Spring. Any Bihu festivity is incomplete without musical folk Bihu Geet and traditional dance.
Bihu songs or Bihugeets are folk songs performed. The Bohaag Bihu is a festival that is celebrated for several days, during which young people in a community can be seen dancing joyfully in groups. Such festivities are named Mukoli Bihus. Traditional musical instruments such as the Dhul, Toka Xutuli, Baanhi, and Gogona add unique enjoyment to the environment.
Over time, many Bihu songs have been written. The songs are written in couplets and are followed by a unique style of dancing that expresses emotion. The Bihu songs bring out Assamese literature.
The Bihu dance is an Assamese folk dance performed joyfully on the festival day. In this chapter, we have learnt what the Bihu festival is all about, and its types. The dancers wear traditional Assamese clothing. Young men and women take part in dance performances. Bihu, which falls in April, celebrates the arrival of spring. The Bihu songs are filled with love and gratitude.
Traditional clothes such as the Dhoti, Chadar, Gamocha, and Mekhala are worn. The custom of the human figure in a straight position is a common trait of Naga dances. The neck, shoulder movement, body, and legs express various moves while dancing. Now, The Bihu Dance represents the northeastern state. Sonowal Kacharis, Doris, Borahis, Moran, and other ethnic groups regard Bihu as a crucial element of their culture.