Updated January 15th, 2024 at 08:48 IST

How Magh Bihu is celebrated in Assam

Magh Bihu is the most gastronomical night of the year in Assam when family and friends get together and feast around a bonfire.

Bihu celebration | Image:Unsplash
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The Magh Bihu, also known as Bhogali Bihu, is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam. This year, the seven-day festival will begin from January 14. However, the main celebration of Magh Bihu starts with Uruka night, the eve of Magh Bihu. It is considered the most gastronomical night of the year in Assam, where families and friends gather around a bonfire and feast together.

How Assamese celebrate Magh Bihu

They get up early morning, take a bath and wear traditional clothes. They then burn the main Meji built with bamboo and wood. The Meji is built using bamboo and wood and the burning of this structure symbolises the end of the old and the beginning of the new. This ritual is also meant to signify the burning of any negative energy. It is considered to be one of the most important rituals of the festival. People gather around the Meji and offer Maah Khorai and Pithas while they pray to the Holy Fire.

(A representative image | Image: Pinterest)
(A representative image | Image: Pinterest)

Then they prepare the traditional breakfast Jalpaan, which is quintessentially a meal served with Chira or flattened rice, Akhoi or puffed rice, Bora Saul, Kumol Saul, along with fresh cream or cow/ buffalo curd and jaggery. They enjoy breakfast together with their family. Varieties of Pitha or rice cakes, which are part of the Assamese delicacy, add richness to the feast.

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(A representative image | Image: Pinterest)
(A representative image | Image: Pinterest)

The festival provides an opportunity to experience Assamese customs, traditional clothing, and cultural performances. It also serves as a way to exhibit and conserve the cultural heritage of the state.

History of Magh Bihu

The history of Magh Bihu dates back to ancient times, around 3500 BC. According to some scholars, people used to offer fire sacrifices to improve their harvest during this festival. The Dimasa Kacharis, an agricultural tribe that lived in the northeastern region of the world thousands of years ago, are thought to be the first known ancestors of the festival.

 

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Published January 10th, 2024 at 00:02 IST