Bajali, April 15, 2019
You might have heard of dogs walking the ramp for a cause. But have you ever heard of cows walking the ramp in Assam?
Gobindpur – a nondescript village in Barpeta’s Bajali – celebrates the Assamese New Year by organising a fashion show for the cows on Goru Bihu. On this day, the owners clean and deck up the cattle in colourful beads and woollen-flowers for the much-awaited annual show.
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.
“For almost a decade now, we are organising the fashion show for the cows on Goru Bihu. All the villagers assemble in an open field and enjoy the show. The cattle are cleaned, worshipped and decorated with colourful covers and trinkets,” said a local.
“Every year the people of Gobindpur wait eagerly for this day. The preparations for the fashion show start a month before,” added another local.
The Rongali Bihu marks the beginning of the new Assamese calendar year. On Rongali Bihu, the people of Assam, visit their friends and families and celebrate it with feasts, music and dancing.
The seven-day festival is celebrated in seven phases – Chot, Kutum, Mela, Raati, Goru, Manuh and Chera. 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.