Magh Bihu -Assamese Harvesting Festival
This festival is popularly known as Bhogali Bihu. This festival is celebrated by people with great enthusiasm. The festival is celebrated for two days consecutively. Devotees offer prayers to Lord Agni Dev and their ancestors by offering them food, clothes, and sweets. They seek their ancestor’s blessings by showing their gratitude toward them.
Magh Bihu is the festival of joy or happiness. This festival is celebrated in the first month of Math month as per Bengali Panjika which is popularly known as Magh Bihu.
The festival has agricultural and social significance, as it is a time for renewing bonds of friendship and brotherhood. This is the time for young men and women to come together. There is plenty of food is involved in celebrations with song and dance. The festival is celebrated by the bonfire which is made of bamboo, firewood, hay and dried banana leaves. People take up bath in the holy Ganga River before setting up the bonfire.
This festival has derived its name from Bishu word which means seeking peace. The festival is all about sharing meals, as Bhog means sharing. This festival is all about showing gratitude to Agni Dev for good harvesting. This day is dedicated to Lord Surya and devotees take bath in holy water -Gang River. This festival is also celebrated as Maker Sankranti in Tamil Nadu. It is also celebrated as Pongal in South belt. This festival is famously celebrated as Bhogali Bihu.
Magh Bihu is celebrated as sports festival. People participate in buffalo fight, cock fight and night angle fight and enjoy this festival to the fullest. Assamese people celebrate this festival for 2 days. Day 1 – on this first day of this festival, young member builds a hut with bamboo and leaves near the river. Women prepare the feast on this day and whole family enjoys this feast in that hut. They also share sweets and greet each other to enjoy the festival. Devotees playing BHU songs and music are the main attraction on this day.
Day 2 is popularly called as Post harvesting ceremony. This day is dedicated to Lord Agni Dev and forefathers. The temporary hut is burned on this particular day to end the ceremony. Other rituals are followed. People wake up in the morning and take a holy bathe. They burn the hut with bamboo and leaves and perform the Pooja to Lord Agni Dev.
Devotees offer prayers to Lord Agni Dev and throw cakes and betel nuts in the fire. They distribute blog Prasad among family members, relatives and neighbors. People bring half-burnt firewood to their homes; throw the firewood at fruit trees to being positivity to their homes.