Guwahati, April 14, 2019
Amid the high-voltage electioneering, the sounds of drumbeats and cymbals reverberated in the hills and plains of Assam with the state heralding the Assamese New Year or Rongali Bihu with full mirth and vigour.
Rongali or Bohag Bihu is the Assamese new year and spring festival. It is a harvest or sowing festival too. On Rongali Bihu, the people of Assam, visit their friends and families and celebrate it with feasts, music and dancing.
It’s the time of the year when women can be seen draped in a red and golden muga mekhela chador, palms decorated with jetuka (organic henna) with bun adorned with kopou phool (foxtail orchids) welcoming the festival of happiness.
Greetings to fellow citizens on Vaisakhi, Vishu, Mesadi, Rongali Bihu, Naba Barsha, Vaisakhadi, Puthandu Pirappu. These festivals reflect our country’s shared heritage amid diversity and plural traditions. May the occasion bring joy, peace and prosperity to all #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 14, 2019
The seven-day festival is celebrated in seven phases – Chot, Kutum, Mela, Raati, Goru, Manuh and Chera. Enthusiasm reigns supreme among the community despite the hustle bustle of a fast-paced life. People sing Bihu geet or Bihu folk songs and also perform traditional Bihu dance to the accompaniment of dhols or the traditional drums and flutes made of buffalo horns.
Even the spiralling rise in the prices of essential commodities has failed to dampen the festive spirit as people were seen thronging the markets to buy Bihu essentials and new clothes.
The first day of Rongali Bihu is dedicated to the cattle and is celebrated as Goru Bihu. People take their cattle to rivers, ponds and other water bodies and give them a ceremonial bath rubbing them with turmeric paste and other herbs.
বসন্তৰ বোকোচাত উঠি, কুলি-কেতেকীৰ গীতৰ লহৰ আৰু কপৌ ফুলৰ সুবাসেৰে মুখৰিত সুৰভিত হৈ আমাৰ মাজলৈ পুনৰ আহিছে বছৰৰ বিহুটি। আজি গৰু বিহু। সমগ্ৰ অসমৰ কৃষিজীৱি ৰাইজলৈ গৰু বিহুৰ ওলগ জনালোঁ। pic.twitter.com/42y7RTp4H7
— Chowkidar Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 14, 2019
Preparations in the various Bihu Sanmilanis are going on in full swing with organizers adding the last minute touch-ups. Like every year, the city Bihu organizers have lined up a plethora of Bihu Sanmilans which will host various competitions, including Bihu Konwari, Bihu Rani, Bihu Husori, Bihu Samragi and so on. Besides these, a number of indigenous sports, folk dance and music events will also be organised.The singers and musicians have been booked to perform in various community cultural shows organised across Assam on Bihu.
Assam Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal also extended his greetings to the people of Assam on the occasion of Rongali Bihu and Assamese New Year.
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) April 14, 2019
On the other hand, Guwahati Police has beefed up security in the prime spots of the city. 270 security cameras have been installed to monitor the city.
I wish happy Rongali Bihu to you all. May it bring you all happiness and prosperity throughout the year. pic.twitter.com/5wAyHh0dtM
— Chowkidar Tuliram Ronghang (@TuliramRonghang) April 14, 2019