Assam celebrates Magh Bihu with traditional fervour
Guwahati, Jan 15 (IANS) People across Assam on Monday celebrated Magh, or Bhogali Bihu, a harvest festival which coincides with Makar Sankranti.
The festival’s relevance to Assamese culture and history originates from its vital role in agriculture and also heralds the arrival of a milder weather after the harsh winter.
This is one of the three types of Bihu, the other two being Bohag and Kati celebrated in April and October, respectively.
The night preceding Magh Bihu, called ‘Uruka’, is when families come together and prepare a feast, including traditional vegetarian and non-vegetarian items.
Following the Uruka feast, some people stay the night in Bhelaghars, which are makeshift huts in the fields.
The next morning, everyone rise early, take a shower and participate in the lighting of the ‘meiji’, a massive bonfire.
The meiji is always lit ny an elder member of the family, or in bigger settings like a village head.
Betel nuts and ‘pithas’ (traditional rice cakes) are thrown at the meiji as offerings to the God of Fire.
On this day, cockfights, buffalo races, nightingale competitions and egg throwing, among other sporting events also take place in various parts of the state.