Kongali Bihu or Kati Bihu falls right in the middle, when sowing of crops and fertilization process has been taken care of and the harvest season is yet to announce itself. On one hand, Rongali Bihu and Bhogali Bihu are celebrated to mark the arrival and end of the harvest season respectively. Kongali Bihu on the other hand comes at a time when the granaries of the farmers are empty and there's nothing much to do but tend to the growing crops. It's derived from the word "Kongal", meaning Poor, for there is not much to eat around this time of the year. For this reason, Kongali Bihu, celebrated in the month of October, has an altogether different essence to it when compared to the other two Bihus. Though with much less fanfare and merrymaking, the dedication of people towards this festival manifests itself with a quiet but a flaming spirit with which it is celebrated. The reverence, in no way is less, even if the splendor of festivities is not there to seal the day. The significance of this Bihu, however, is more in the villages than in towns.
Kongali Bihu Rituals & Customs
On the day of Kongali Bihu, none other than Goddess Laxmi, who's considered the distributor of wealth to the mortal souls, is worshipped and welcomed into homes. Then in the evening, earthen lamps called sakis are lit at the foot of the Tulsi (basil) plant, which is considered sacred and auspicious according to Hindu religion and culture. Offerings are made to it in every household; moving on to lighting more earthen lamps in the granaries, gardens and the paddy fields; prayers are offered for an opulent crop. These lamps, along with whirling of bamboo sticks while reciting Rowa Khowa chants, is believed to keep the pests and evil eyes off the crops and promote a bountiful harvest. Also during the evening, the cattle are specifically fed with rice cakes known as Pitha, and another practice of lighting the Akaxbonti lamps (sky lamps) at the tip of the bamboo pole takes place. This ritualistic activity is believed to show the way to the souls of the dead to the heavens. After the ceremonial activity of lighting these lamps, people visit each other's houses and exchange greetings and sweets.