Assam celebrates Rongali Bihu despite poll fever

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Guwahati, April 14 : The trill of the cuckoo, the lilting Bihu songs to the beating of dhols and cymbals accompanied by the mellifluous notes of bamboo flutes and buffalo horns heralded the festival of Rongali or Bohag Bihu in Assam despite the Lok Sabha elections in the State. The poll fever has failed to dampen the Bihu spirit this time. In the next seven days, the Assamese people will immerse themselves in Bihu joy that ushers in the Spring season, a season for joy and merrymaking.

On the occasion of Rongali Bihu, Assam Governor JB Patnaik has extended his greeting to the people of the State. In a statement, Patnaik said the spirit of Bihu unites the people of Assam and instills new enthusiasm in them.

Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “Though it’s election time, Rongali Bihu is the main festival of Assam. I extend my greeting to the people of the State on this occasion. I will also do Bihu dance,” adding, “I hope Rongali Bihu will bring peace and prosperity to the people of Assam. The celebrations will also strengthen unity among the people of the State.”

Meanwhile, preparations were completed across the State to celebrate one of the biggest festivals of Assam that marks the New Year calendar of the Assamese society.

On Monday, the ritual will start with the celebrations of Goru Bihu which is the festival of the cattle celebrated on the eve of Rongali Bihu. On that day, the cattle are given ceremonial bath in rivers and ponds, tied with new ropes, rubbed with turmeric paste and worshipped.

On Tuesday, Manuh Bihu will be observed. ‘Manuh’ (people) Bihu, as the name suggests, is mainly devoted to performing ceremonies for the welfare of people. Youngsters pay respect to the elders, both dressed in new attires, by bowing before them and people wish each other for a happy New Year and exchange gifts.

Over a thousand Bihu Sanmilans will be organised with various cultural events to celebrate the festival for the next seven days across the State.

Bihu for the people of Assam is not just a seasonal festival or an event. It is a statement of life, an expression of the charm, the philosophy of living.

In Guwahati, several Bihu programmes, including Bihu dance competitions and Mukoli Bihu programmes will be held.

Apart from Guwahati, Rongali Bihu programmes will be organised in Nagaon, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Darrang, Barpeta, Kamrup, Morigaon, Nalbari and Goalpara districts.

Students in different parts of the State are being given training in Bihu dance, which is performed during the festival.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday greeted the people of Assam on the occasion of Rongali Bihu.


Dressed in traditional Assamese attires, girls and women took part in Mukoli Bihu programmes organized by different social organisations in the national capital.

One such Delhi–based social organisation Shristi on Sunday organized the Mukoli Bihu festival. Dance and different other competitions were also held on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Assam Association in Delhi has organized several programmes to celebrate the festival in the national capital. The Assamese student organisations have also organised a week long festival to mark Bihu in Delhi.

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