Guwahati, April 15, 2019:
The state of Assam on Monday is celebrating its New Year as the first day in the Assamese calendar has fallen on 15 April this year.
The ‘Rongali’ or ‘Bohagi’ Bihu is a festival that unites the entire Assamese and ever since the 1970’s, when it was primarily confined to the Sibsagar district, it has gained an identity as the festival that is symbolized by feasting, charity, and dance.
The Assamese New Year is symbolized by fun and frolic as the youths of Assam come together to dance underneath the shades of trees. As per traditional custom, Meanwhile, the young touch the feet of the poor and people offer each other ‘Bihuwan (the traditional scarf also known as ‘gamucha‘).
Small children too are loved and pampered by their elders. In many parts of Lower Assam, people consume a signature dish comprised of seven kinds of herbs with medicinal value. Women and young girls (especially by Nasonis/dancers) adorn their hands with the colors of ‘jetuka’ (a dye extracted from a local herb), which is believed to have healing properties.
Meanwhile, many of the tribal communities of Assam are celebrating the onset of the New Year with a unique and distinct flavor. For instance, the Boros, one of the prominent communities, celebrate the Bwisagu festival during the New Year, which is marked by colorful dances and feasting and merrymaking.
Bihu has an ever-evolving nature which has been necessitated by the transformation in the culture which has been brought on by the insertion of technology in our everyday lives. For instance, no one could have imagined that social media applications like ‘Tik Tok’ could be used to express the spirit of Bihu, but they have been incorporated by the youth into the mainstream Bihu culture.