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Title : Magh Bihu celebration in Assam | The Best of India
Description : Assam is a land of peace and serenity. It has always enchanted us with its mystical beauty. From the high hills drenched in greenery to majestic the rain forests…it seems that Mother Nature has blessed the people here with all her benevolence. Along with her other sister states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura; Assam forms the seven sisters of North-East India.

Assam is irrigated by the mighty Brahmaputra River which links India to its neighbouring countries of China, Bangladesh and Bhutan. As the massive river winds along its path, forests of Sal, Teak and other valuable timber trees crop up along its banks. People here engage in animal husbandry, cultivate crops along the valley of the river. Tea is also grown in abundance which has equally contributed to enhance the state’s economy, and earned it fame throughout for its Assamese Black Tea, all over the globe…

The state is recognized for its rich culture and is home to a variety of unique animals and a diverse ecosystem. In the pleasant biodiversity zones, the well planned National parks and Sanctuaries of Assam, the mountains and lush grassy plains promise to thrill any visitor.

Another famous but rare animal of Assam is the pigmy hog which is the closest relative to the Eurasian pig (Sus scrofa). Today, the species is at the brink of extinction and the Assam government is making tremendous efforts to save it.

Every festival is celebrated in Assam with great pomp and show with Bihu being one of the most important of all the Assamese festivals. It is the biggest cultural occasion for the people of Assam, secular in concept and is intimately connected with farming and agriculture. Being the most important festival of the Assamese people it is celebrated by all Assamese people irrespective of class and creed. The auspicious Bihu festival comes in a series of three prominent occasions. Its three forms are Bohag Bihu or (Rongali Bihu), Kaati or (Kangali Bihu) and the Magh Bihu or (Bhogali bihu). All are celebrated to mark the seasons and all the significant points of a cultivator’s life over a year. Bohaag Bihu marks the New Year and the seeding time of the paddy crop, the Kaati Bihu represents the completion of its sowing and transplanting, whereas the Maagh Bihu signifies the end of the harvesting period.

The people of Assam celebrate Magh Bihu in the middle of January when the paddy fields are empty and the stores of farmers are filled with rice and pulses. As at this time of the year the granaries of the farmers are full, it calls for a grand celebration, merrymaking and feasting on typical homemade delicacies. Young boys can be seen in groups, gaily dressed and forming circles in the midst of which pretty Assamese girls dance.

The day before Bihu is called Uruka and it starts with Community fishing. At dawn, people gather at all rivers, lakes and ponds to fish in massive groups. Special ponds meant for fishing are kept untouched the whole year through and are fished in on this day alone. After the community fishing these people begin erecting little huts called ‘Bhelaghars' with bamboo, hay and dry leaves. While, the women make a variety of food items, the most popular one is Pitha. At night, community feasts are arranged with local delicacies and a variety of fish and meats inside the Belaghar huts. The huts are burned the very next day on the occasion of the main Magh Bihu Day. Rang Ghars are actually the amusement areas which date back to 16th century and were built by kings to indulge in a range of royal sports. The pavilion has been set-up for activities like bull fighting, bird fights and many such traditional games for over 600 years. The event starts with a couple of bulls which the farmers bring to the fighting grounds to flaunt their strength and ability. The bets are not high and event is held purely for entertainment.

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