SUBJECT :The festival of Bihu is a harvest festival celebrated in the North-eastern states of India, especially Assam. This festival is celebrated thrice a year. 

Bihu (Assam) January 14, 2020: The festival of Bihu is a harvest festival celebrated in the North-eastern states of India, especially Assam. This festival is celebrated thrice a year. The festival which coincides with Makar Sankranti is known as Bhogali Bihu, celebrated in the month of January. In 2020, Bhogali Bihu will be celebrated on 16th January.

The other two Bihu festivals are Rongali Bihu celebrated on Vishuva Sankranti and Kongali Bihu celebrated in the month of Karthik. Bhogali Bihu is a festival of abundance of food and grains. Celebrated in the local month of Magh, Bhogali Bihu is also called Magh Bihu. The word ‘Bihu’ has been derived from the Sanskrit word bishu which means “to ask for prosperity from the Gods during the harvesting season”.


Abundance of grains after the harvest is the matter of celebration. It is celebrated with a community feast after the annual harvest. The night of feats, ‘Uruka’ is observed the night before Magh Bihu. Community kitchens made of bamboo huts ‘Bhelaghor’ are where the preparations are made for the feast. Dishes made of vegetables, meat and rice are prepared. Pitha made of rice, Laru made of sesame, molasses and coconut, and Khar, a special dish of Assam, made from raw papaya mixed with the stem of burnt Banana are the savories.

Bonfire called ‘Meji’ is made the next morning around which the community gathers and prays for a good harvest in the coming year. After offering to the sacred fire, people have traditional ‘jolpan’ breakfast and play indigenous games like dhoop khel, pot-breaking, egg-fights and buffalo-fighting. In large wetlands, celebrations are also marked by community fishing by the tribes. The community kitchen 'Bhelaghor huts’ are destroyed with fire as the festival ends. Prayers for prosperity and happiness and made.


This festival is associated with crop harvest and progress. It marks the arrival of spring and retreat of winters. Variety of dishes are prepared, houses and cleaned, people wear traditional attires and dance to various folk songs on traditional musical instruments.

Bihu celebrations start from newy year day itself and last for seven days with each day having its own charm and significance. Bihu celebrations do not last for just one day but are observed for seven days in which every day has its own significance. People take bath early in the morning while applying raw turmeric and urad dal. Bathing is followed by wearing traditional dresses and preparations for rituals. Bihu dance is a mandatory ritual in Bihu celebration wherein people dance for the whole day and sing folk songs. They express gratitude to God and nature for their blessings and pray for a good harvest, prosperity and peace.

The festival is significant because of the belief that prayers made on this day get heard and bring joy, happiness and prosperity. Negativity goes away and physical and mental peace is ensured.


With no formal history behind Bihu. It is believed to be festival as old as the river Brahmaputra. It can be said that it started from the time when people of this valley started tilling the earth for sustenance. Over the period of time, the festival of Bihu and Bihu dance shaped up as we know it today.