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Kongali Bihu Date

Bihu is the biggest festival celebrated in the state of Assam and easily one of the most colorful festivals of India which is celebrated with great fervor and zeal. This festival depends upon the crop cycle of paddy in Assam. Bihu is divided into three broad types depending on the time of the year during which it is celebrated and these three types of Bihus have its own significance. The first Bihu - Rongali Bihu, observed during the month of April, marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and the sowing season of the paddy crop. The second Bihu - Kongali Bihu, celebrated during October, is less of a celebratory Bihu and more of worshipping is done during this festival. The last type of Bihu is the Bhogali Bihu which is celebrated as the harvest festival of the state and is falls during the month of January.

A number of activities take place during all the Bihus, the Bihu dance being the prime activity of the festival. However, during Kongali Bihu, there are minimal activities and Bihu dance is not performed during this festival; rather worships and other such rites take place. People refrain themselves from pleasures, as during this Bihu the granaries are empty and the atmosphere is of abstinence and self control. This makes the festival a wholesome festival as it not only celebrates the high points in life but also has in its core the respect for those days when life isn't that easy. Another activity which takes place during Kongali Bihu is the lighting of Akaxbonti which literally means sky lamps. Lighting these sky lamps is a symbolic ritual of showing the path to heaven to the ancestors who come to earth to bless their descendants during this thin time. These lamps are lighted on high bamboo sticks and are lined in a symmetrical row giving it a look of a path of light.

The Kongali Bihu is related to penance and during this Bihu the Assamese peasants pray to the ancestors and gods to keep away the evil spirits and bless them with a healthy yield.