Assam is a state renowned for its beauty and culture and this is evident from the traditional festivals which are observed here. Rongali Bihu is perhaps the most common type of Bihu which is celebrated in the state and it is the most popular too. This Bihu is celebrated to welcome the Assamese New Year and the festivities generally continue for seven days, each day celebrating the different colors of the festival. People of Assam dress themselves in traditional dresses for these seven days and perform a number of activities, each activity having a different meaning. People sing traditional songs, dance to folk beats and make merry; the environment is that of a carnival. Feasts are conducted, sweets are distributed, and even the cattle are worshipped to mark the sowing season. There are a number of activities which are followed during Bihu by the citizens of Assam.
Rongali Bihu Rituals & Customs
As the festival is conducted for seven days, different activities are conducted each day. People of all demographics participate in the festival indiscriminate of any of the social divides. On the first day, cattle are worshipped and this marks the last day of the year. The livestock are washed well before applying them with raw turmeric. The cattle are adorned with twigs of dighalati and makhiyati and songs are sung while worshipping the cattle, so that they live a healthy fruitful life. While worshipping the cattle, the people chant in their native language - "lao kha, bengena kha, bosore bosore barhi ja maar xoru, baper xoru, toi hobi bor bor goru". These chants too sing of health and fertility of the cows. The ropes of the cattle are discarded and new ropes are tied to their neck. The cattle are set free on this day and are allowed to roam according to their will.
On the third day, the village elders move from one house to another singing traditional songs called husoris. They are treated with respect and are given a dakshina of betel nut and areka nut in a brass dish, after which the band wishes the household and moves on. On the fifth day of the festival, traditional functions are arranged and the youth of the village adorn themselves in traditional attires and dance Bihu in open fields, singing of romance and sexual endeavors. The dance celebrates female sexuality. The next day is designated solely for women folk; the Bihu dance is performed and seen only by women. There are a number of activities which makes this festival so special and a grand colorful event.