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Kati Bihu: The festival of constraining and solemnity

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তুলসীৰ তলে তলে মৃগ পহু চৰে,
তাকেই দেখি ৰাম চন্দ্রই শৰধনু ধৰে।

Bihu is the most prominent and celebrated festival of Assam. It is the harvest festival of the region that marks the transformation of the season. It pleases the celebration of farming and is observed thrice a year and are of three kinds: Bohag or Rongali Bihu, Magh or Bhogali Bihu, and Kati or Kongali Bihu.

Being one of the sets of the abovementioned three, Kati Bihu owns its significance and is celebrated widely in the state. Also known as Kongali (Kongal means poor) this Bihu is celebrated in the middle of October when the crops are at the growing stage and the granaries of the farmers are empty. The season during the festival has a different nuance and there is less gaiety and the atmosphere holds a sense of constraining and solemnity.

On this day the people celebrate the evening by lighting earthen lamps or Saki near Tulsi plant, Graineries and in the paddy fields, they lit a special type of lamp which is known as ‘Akaxh Banti’ (Sky Candle) which are lit on the tips of tall bamboo. Scientifically, these earthen lamps are said to attract the insects of the paddy fields and end up falling prey to its fire which helps in a healthy harvest of the crops and this is also done to show the souls of the dead the way to heaven.

People offer prayers and welcome Goddess Laxmi home. This entire thing continues for a whole month. To protect the maturing paddy, cultivators whirl a piece of bamboo and recite rowa-know chants and spells to ward off pests and the evil eye. In the evening, the cattle of all households are fed pithas, which are specially made rice items.

Festival in Bodo community

In the Bodo community, Kati Bihu is known as Kati Gasa whereas the Dimasa people call it Gathi Sainjora.

With the passing of time and the prevalence of modernization, the populace is becoming indifferent towards its culture and as a consequence, we’re losing our ethnicity. Nevertheless, a lot of people residing abroad are seen to be celebrating Bihu.

Many Bihu associations/committees exist elsewhere where this festival is celebrated with enthusiasm. The London Bihu Committee (LBC), UK is one of them among others.

Also Read: ASSAM: CM ISSUES GUIDELINES FOR SMOOTH DISBURSEMENT OF PENSION

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