Bihu is the National festival of Assam, the north-eastern state known for its tea gardens, the lush green forests and the mighty Brahmaputra. The origin of the name Bihu is believed to be from the Sanskrit word “Vishu”.
Bihu is a festival that personifies a huge celebration of farming, particularly paddy.The prayers conferred to God provides the natives of the state to rejoice and hence augments the lushness of its whole landscape.
It is celebrated thrice a year (Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu in April, Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in January and Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu in October/ November).
Bohag or Rongali Bihu is celebrated in April and marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and also makes way for the start of the agricultural season. Magh Bihu is celebrated in January and marks the season of grains harvesting while Kongali Bihu is celebrated to mark the cutting and binding of the grains.
Instruments used in Bihu are –
- Dhol (Drum)
- Pepa (An instrument made of buffalo horn)
- Baanhi (Flute)
Bihu is also seen to be celebrated abroad. Many Bihu associations/committees exist elsewhere where this festival is celebrated with enthusiasm. The London Bihu Committee (LBC), UK is one of them amongst others.