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Rongali or Bohag Bihu

Bihu is the heart of Assamese society. It is the symbol of Assamese culture and festival. Rongali bihu is the festival for which every Assamese person waits eagerly for the whole year to enjoy to the fullest. Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu is the new year of Assamese calendar and is celebrated through out the month.

Rongali Bihu Dance

Modern Bihu Dance - Performed on Stage (Photo by Ronjoy Gogoi)

The new year of Assamese calendar usually falls on April 15. The new year starts with the month 'Bohag'. This is the reason why Rongali Bihu is also called 'Bohag Bihu'. The word 'Rongali' is derived from 'Rong' which means Happiness and celebrations. So this festival represent happiness of the society. All the three Bihu festivals of Assam are related to harvesting. Rongali bihu falls in a period when the there is no work for the cultivators but still there is enough in the store to enjoy. Being a agriculture based state, Assam, has always marked this Bihu as the symbol of joy. This also biggest the festival in Assam and celebrated in every corner of the state.

On the eve of the new year,i.e., a day before the new year 'Goru Bihu' is celbrated. On this day, all the cattles are worshiped. They have been taken down to river, ponds for a bath and also some rituals are done.

On the day of new year, 'Manhuor Bihu' is celebrated. This day is the actual Rongali Bihu day and the celebrations start from the very early morning. There is a very important ritual on this day to gift 'Gamosa' or 'Bihuan' to the older. Every kitchen in the state cook various ptiha(sweets) and also tasty 'Jolpan' is served. People take blessings of others and get together. And starts the famous Bihu dance and songs. A special type of Bihu dance along with bihu and some traiditional religious songs called 'Husori'. This is a fun way to give and take blessings and wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year. It's mainly participated by youths only. This husori continues for the whole month of Bohag.

Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu has come a long way from villages, open fields to towns and stages, auditoriums. It's gaining popularity in stage in modern times, though slightly losing some culture and tradition, yet it's spreading across the nation and even across the world. There are various form of Bihu dance which are now enclosed into artificial stages from natural fields.

Rongali reflects the rich culture of Assamese society. Bihu songs involve various indegenous Assamese musical instruments like pepa, gogona, dhol, toka, taal, hutuli, etc. The Bihu dance is related to rich colourful attire of the Assamese culture. This Bohag Bihu also involves various delicious Assamese recipes.

When it comes to Assamese culture and society the first thing that comes to any one inside or outside of Assam is nothing but Bihu, to be more specific, Rongali(Bohag) Bihu.

Other two Bihu:

Kongali Bihu
Bhogali Bihu