Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has appealed the citizens to light earthen lamps at their doorsteps at 6 pm on April 14th, 2020, the first day of the month of Bohag, to dispel the darkness spread by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bohag Bihu, also known as Rongali Bihu, is Assam’s biggest festival and marks the onset of spring and the beginning of the Assamese new year.
Conveying his warm greetings on the joyous occasion of Rongali Bihu, Sonowal said, “In the times of lockdown and coronavirus pandemic, people are facing trying times. Let us all light a chaki (earthen lamp) in our houses at 6 pm on April 14th, 2020, the first day of Bohag.”
The Chief Minister also thanked the doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and people associated with essential services for fighting on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.
Sonowal also appealed all to celebrate Bihu by being at home and follow social distancing to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
The week-long Rongali Bihu is synonymous with dancing, singing, feasting and much more. However, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Assam will miss the usual feasting and festivities of Ronagli Bihu this year.
The Bihu Committees have been directed to restrict celebrations by just hoisting a flag in the presence of five people. Assam Police directed the Bihu committees not to extend the flag hoisting ceremony for more than 30 minutes and strictly adhere to the social distancing norms.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both open-air and on stage Bihu dance and music programmes have been cancelled in Assam to avoid the crowd and practice social distancing.
Photo credit: /SarbanandaSonowal/ (L) and Twitter (R)