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Bihu is the main and traditional festival of Assam, in northeast India. Dance and music form an important part of the celebration and the festivities continue for seven days at a stretch.


The word Bihu is derived from the language of “Dimasa Kacharis”, which is the agricultural community of Assam, for ages. The word was original “Bisu”, which meant “to ask for prosperity” from the tribal god. Bihu is the distorted version of Bisu. The abundance of grains after the harvest is a matter of celebration.

Assam is located in the Northeastern region of India, and it is characterized by Blue Mountain and fertile land. The mighty Brahmaputra River is the source of water for irrigation in this region. Agriculture is the prime occupation of the area, and most people are agrarian by nature. Bihu is celebrated to mark the change of seasons.  Hence all their daily activities and celebrations are agriculture-oriented only.  The entire festival is extremely secular in nature and is deeply connected with agriculture. Bohag Bihu is celebrated at the seeding time of paddy.

This agricultural festival occurs three times a year but the biggest celebration, known as Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, happens in April.

Kati Bihu and Magh Bihu occur in the month of October and January respectively.


It is very much evident from the months of the celebration of this festival that these months are actually significant in relation to the farming of native crop of Assam, the paddy.

Rongali Bihu is celebrated for a period of seven days and marks the start of the new year there, as well as seeding time in spring. The first day is dedicated to cows, which are vital to agriculture. The second day is spent visiting friends and relatives, along with plenty of singing and dancing. On the third day, deities are worshiped. Bihu is an irreligious festival that is celebrated by people from all religions and parts of Assam. Bohag is the first month according to the Assamese calendar. Hence it is also celebrated as the New Year festival. This period also marks the transition in the seasonal cycle and people greet the coming season of spring with enthusiasm.

Kati Bihu is celebrated when the sowing of paddy is complete and the transformation of the saplings is done. Kati Bihu is also known as Kongali Bihu.


Magh Bihu represents the culmination of the harvesting period of the crop. Magh Bihu is celebrated with community feasts after the annual harvest. The highlight of this festival is the food due to the abundance of grains after the harvest. It is the time when winter sets out on its last course, making way for spring. This agrarian festival, as the name itself suggests, is all about celebrating a bumper crop through feasting.


Bihu is a traditional festival where people cook traditional meals using rice and wear traditional clothes. It is quite evident that Bihu is a festival of the farming community whose livelihood is mainly dependent upon agriculture. The festival of Bihu is celebrated by one and all in Assam. The boundaries of rich or poor, cast creed, etc are diminished in the dazzling light of joy and cheerfulness.


Bihu is the national festival of Assam. Assam is one of the most beautiful states of India, which is known for its Tea Gardens, Mighty Brahmaputra River, and green forests.  Apart from this Assam is known for the Bihu Festival, which shows three different cultural festivals of the state, but the biggest celebration, known as Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, happens in April. Kati Bihu and Magh Bihu occur in the month of October and January respectively.


The word ‘Bihu’ originates from the word ‘Bisu’ which literally has meaning “feeling of joy and happiness”. Later this name got distorted and the festival later known as Bihu.

Besides being a primary identity of Assam, Bihu is also a harvest festival. Bohag Bihu is celebrated for a period of seven days. It celebrates the onset of spring and farmers on this occasion prepare the field for cultivation. There is a general air of feasting and festivity all around in the atmosphere of Assam.

This is a cheerful festival of Assam which is celebrated by the locals in spite of caste, creed, and faith.

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