The people of Assam are gearing up to celebrate the Bhogali Bihu festival across the state which began on Friday.
The countdown to the biggest post-harvest festival of the state began with young men erecting mejis and bhelaghars in the biting cold since early morning.
Uruka, the day before traditional harvest festival Bhogali or Magh Bihu, will be celebrated across Assam on Friday.
With the granaries full, celebrations for this agrarian festival will begin on Uruka when community feasts are arranged by the people preparing local delicacies of fish and meat inside the Mejis erected by them with bamboo, wood, leaves and hay.
The word 'Bhogali' is derived from 'Bhog', which means delicious and rich food. So Bhogali Bihu represents a festival of food with merrymaking.
Bhogali Bihu is celebrated at a time when all the cultivation works get over and everyone has plenty to eat and rejoice.
On the eve of Bhogali Bihu people in Assam build two structures called 'Bhela Ghar' and 'Meji'. The structure made of wood or tree leaves is called Meji, which is burnt on the following actual Bihu day. The temporary house built close to Meji is called 'Bhela Ghar' for feasting and community singing.
Meji is worshiped as God of Fire and lighted up. In the fire of Meji all types of potatoes are roasted and everyone eats them as divine offering. Women for many days cook various snacks and sweets for this day to be brought to the auspicious Meji spot to be served to everyone.
Special sweet called 'pitha' is prepared from a special sticky red 'bora' rice, coconut, sesame and jaggery to be distributed and enjoyed by the gatherings at Mejis.