Assam’s month-long Rongali Bihu got under way on Friday with revellers giving cows a ceremonial bath.
The first day of Rongali Bihu is called “Goru” (cow) Bihu. The day is dedicated to the animal that is inherently linked to the State’s agrarian economy and rural life. People milled around rivers, ponds and other water bodies in the morning and gave their cows the ceremonial bath by rubbing the leaves of a medicinal plant to keep flies and insects at bay.
On the second day of the celebration on Saturday, people will wear new clothes and indulge in singing and dancing to the beats of dhol (drum), pepa (pipe instrument made of buffalo horn), gogona (harp made of bamboo), cymbals etc.
The Rongali Bihu, which marks the onset of Assamese New Year, is among three Bihus. The others being Magh Bihu, also called Bhogali Bihu, and Kati Bihu.
Bihu is a time of feasting and merry-making. To the farmers, it is a time to prepare their fields for cultivation.
A community Bihu was organised in Guwahati on Friday by the All Guwahati Students’ Union in which various communities, artists, and others participated. The students’ body felicitated a number of personalities on the occasion.
The State’s governor BL Purohit and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal extended greetings on the joyous occasion.
“Let this Bihu be a harbinger of a new dawn of warm and harmonious relationship and peace, prosperity and progress in the State,” the governor said in a message to the people.
He was optimistic that the celebrations would reinforce love and goodwill among people and strengthen the bond of unity and bonhomie among them.
Sonowal wished that the festival would bring lasting peace and prosperity and strengthen mutual bonding among people.
“The Chief Minister expressed optimism that the festival, which symbolises Assamese cultural identity, would strengthen the age-old friendship and camaraderie among people cutting across ethnicities, caste, creed and religion,” an official release said.
By: Prasanta Mazumdar | Source: The New Indian Express