Guwahati:Amid much fanfare and traditional pomp and gaiety Rongali Bihu kicked off in the north east Indian state of Assam on Friday. The weeklong spring festival began early in the morning with cow worship on the rivers and water bodies in every nook and corner of the state.
“ Bihu marks an entry into the new Assamese calendar year. Today we bade farewell to the old year. We took the cow to the nearest river banks to bathe them before serving them with water guard, bitter guard, brinjal for their well being since cow is very useful animal for the rural people. That’s why, the first day of the festival is dedicated to the cow,” said Hrishikesh Das, a farmer in Sonapur area in the outskirt of capital city , Guwahati.
Traditional sweets and pastries are flooding every household to be served to the near and dear ones . Dressed in traditional attire people—both old and young -thronged the open spaces for egg fights to mark the annual spring festival.
“This is our age old tradition to upkeep reproduction just before the cultivators go to plough in the fields,” said Ananta Kalita from Boko and added that Bihu is usually a festival for the rural lot who are basically cultivators.
With Drum on the shoulders and cymbals in their hands, young boys are performing door to door Bihu Huchoris mesmerizing every household.
“We have been practicing for the last one month. We are still learners. The elders have taught us how to beat the drum, how to pay the bamboo flute and buffalo horn pipe which is so melodious. We also have a group of young girls who have been dancing with us,” said Jiban Saikia in Sivasagar, the capital city of the Ahoms where Bihu used to celebrated in the open fields.
Cultural functions are lined up in both rural and urban areas which will continue for the entire month to be performed by the noted singers.
“We are expecting around 40,000 people when Assam’s heart throb Zubeen Garg would be performing on Sunday evening. Other noted artists have also confirmed their participation in the function,” said Jayanta Das in Guwahati who is one of the organizers in the premier south east Asian city.
State Governor B Purohit, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with many others have wished the people on the occasion .