Festivals Of India: Celebrating Bhogali Bihu In Assam

By Mamta Pabreja

Bhogali Bihu is the festival of the north-eastern state of India – Assam. This is a very old festival which is celebrated in the month of January – the month when farming and harvesting is over and all the farmers are free to celebrate and enjoy.

Bhogali Bihu is also referred to the festival of Makar Sankranti during which all the neighbors worship their tools which they use to earn their living for the season. The Bhogali Bihu festival is celebrated with community feasts, buffalo fights and traditional dances. As soon as the farming and harvesting season is over the farmers start preparing themselves for this big festival.

The major event of this festival is the bird fight. The farmers capture the birds around two weeks prior to the festival and then the train them for the fight. To capture the birds, people use various methods like bamboo traps, etc.

Once the birds are captured people start training them for the fight and they also start feeding them with healthy and nutritious food so that they can become stronger for fighting.

Bihu dance, Assam

The Bihu dance is a well-known folk dance of Assam

On the day of the bird fight, birds are tied with a strong string on one of their legs and are set free to fight with other birds which are prepared by other people of the same community. The owner of the bird who wins the fight is awarded by the cash of Rs.2001 and the trophy.

Once the match is over the owner of the birds set the birds free. This represents the intention that the festival and people have no intention of harming them. Sometimes, even buffalo fights are organized rather than bird fights. Sometimes both buffalo fights and bird fights are organized together depending on the moods of the owners.

Whatever the fight may be, owners have to train their pets in order to win the cash of Rupees 2001 or a trophy, which is the reward given to the owner of the winning bird or buffalo.

After the bird fight, the program of community feasts starts during which all the community members gather to have dinner together. At this time various events, like dancing, singing, and other fun competitions are organized to entertain everybody.

These celebrations, parties and bird fights are organized because the harvesting and farming season concludes in the month of January and the fields are rich with grain. Farmers know that they will be earning well in this season and celebrate their bounty.

Get more information about Bhogali-Bihu. For more information about Indian Festivals visit www.happydiwali.org

Indian Folk Dances – Bihu From Assam

Article Source: EzineArticles.com & photo credit  Flickr

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