Amid the anti-CAA protest, the people of the Assam are all set to celebrate the auspicious harvest festival “Magh Bihu”.
Magh Bihu falls in the local month of Magh during mid-January. It is also called Bhogali Bihu as it is celebrated with community feasts after the annual harvest takes place.
The highlight of the festival is the food, which is made from the abundance of grains after the harvest. The night before “Magh Bihu”, which falls on January 14/15, is called “Uruka” meaning the night of feasts. The villagers make bamboo huts called “Bhelaghar” to enjoy the night there and in the early morning of the day of Bihu, after taking bath people use to burn the Meji, they build with bamboo and woods near the Bhelaghar as per festive rituals.
Various dishes, Pitha and Laru are made out of sesame, molasses, and coconut to celebrate the festival. All the local markets have been decked up with traditional foods on the favorite occasion of Bhogali Bihu. People are thronging the local markets across the state to shop for Bihu delicious.
The makeshift shops were also abuzz with festivity in Guwahati. The shopkeepers were busy catering to the customers. Shopkeepers at Ganeshguri, Paltanbazar among other markets have set up stalls along with footpath.
The celebration for the biggest post-harvest festival begins with men erecting Mejis’ and Bhelaghars from bamboo and thatch. People play folk instruments, sing traditional songs and play traditional games during the festival.
People also offer prayer to the God of Fire and pick up pieces of half burnt firewood, throw it among the other fruit trees for next bountiful harvest, to mark the festival. From surviving the cold winters to moving towards the livelier season of spring, harvest festivals like Lohri, Pongal are celebrated in various parts of India. From eating special food celebrating it all night with dance and music, the festival not only marks the beginning of an auspicious year but also brings the family together.