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Magh or Bhogali Bihu

Magh Bihu, also known as Bhogali Bihu, is the second most celebrated Bihu festival of Assam. It's the festival of food and sport.

Bhogali Bihu is celebrated in mid of January, on the first day of 'Magh' month of Assamese Calendar. 'Bhogali' means handiness of rich food. So Bhogali Bihu represents a festival of food. And because it is celebrated in the month of 'Magh', it is also known as 'Magh' Bihu. Like other two Bihu, this is also related to harvesting. Bhogali bihu is celebrated at a time when all the cultivation works get over and everyone has plenty to eat and enjoy.

The celebrations of Bhogali bihu starts one day before the actual day, i.e., on the last day of the month 'Puh'. On this eve, people build 'Meji', a structure made of wood or tree leaves, that is to be burnt on the actual Bihu day. This Meji is guarded whole day night by all the people of the village. To stay for the night, people build temporary houses called 'Bhela Ghar'. These houses are usually made up of hay. There used to be grand feasts for the people staying in the bhela ghar that night. The feast is called 'Bhoj'.

On the actual day of Magh Bihu, everyone takes bath at the dawn itself and proceed to the meji. The Meji is lit up by one old member of the society or village. All the villagers get together in the Meji and complete many rituals. Various types edibles like coconut, betel nut, etc. are worshiped to the Meji, i.e., to the Hindu God of Fire (Agni Devta). Various types of potatoes, mitha aloo, muwa aloo, etc. are roasted in the large fire of meji and everyone eats from children to old people eat it. Youths also enjoy with cracker like thing made of bamboo called 'Hiloi'. Magh Bihu is celebrated at a season when winter is about to go. It is believed that the fire of Meji burns the winter out!

Bhogali Bihu

'Meji' - (Photo by Utpal Sarma)

Ladies of the society prepare for this Bihu for many days. They cook various snacks, sweets, for this day. On the Bhogali Bihu day, they carry their food items to the auspicious Meji spot. Various types of Jolpan and pitha are served to everyone.

Like all other Bihu, Magh Bihu also has the ritual of showing respect the the elder one with Gamosa.

But the celebrations don't just stop here. There are various types of traditional sports where from children to old people participate. Amng them, the most popular one is egg-fight. It is played across assam in evry corner from villages to towns. There are some traditional sports involving pets, animals etc. These sports are now localized to some places now a days. The most thrilling among them is the Buffalo-fight. Another popular one is bird-fight. The birds may vary from cock, hen to nightingale etc.

Bird Fighting Bihu

'Bulbuli Fight' - (Photo by Utpal Sarma)

Buffalo Fighting Bihu

'Buffalo Fight' - (Photo by Utpal Sarma)

Other two Bihu:

Rongali Bihu
Kongali Bihu