Northeast India celebrate "Bihu" to mark new harvest season

Jorhat, Apr 14: Locals celebrated Bihu, the annual harvest festival with great zeal in Assam's Jorhat town on Thursday.

Ecstatic people were seen dancing on folk songs while performing traditional rituals with divine exuberance. Many people also bathed their cattle in streams to mark the commencement of the seven-day long festival.

Highlighting the significance of the rituals, Dipen Hazarika said: "It is one of the biggest festivals of Assam which is celebrated for seven days. Today is the beginning in which we worship our cattle so that our farming business prospers. We bathe the cows and perform traditional rituals on them."

Hazarika also revealed the other rituals performed during the festival.

"We go to our elders and take their blessings so that we have a great year ahead and our agriculture prospers," said Hazarika.

Bihu or Makar Sankranti signifies the day when the sun begins its ascendancy and enters into the Northern Hemisphere.

Bihu is the most important festival in Assam and occurs thrice a year. In April, it is called Rongali or Bohag Bihu, in October November Kati Bihu, and in January, coinciding with Makara Sankranti, it is called Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu.

Bhogali Bihu is celebrated immediately after the winter harvest. The word "bhogali" comes from bhoga, which translates to "feast", and the festival is essentially one of thanks giving and merry making after a good harvest.