As like other two bihus, Kati Bihu is also related to agriculture. Kati means “cut”. Kati Bihu is also called Kongali i.e. Poor. It signifies empty and there is not much to eat at this point of time of the year. This Bihu is celebrated during the time of relocation of the rice sapling. This Bihu is described with a sentiment gravity as the storage facilities are relatively unfilled amid this season.
Unlike the other other Bihus, Kati Bihu is not as flamboyant a festival and the festivities are more sombre in nature.
This Bihu is celebrated by the lighting of lamps or saaki (candles) in different parts of the house. The main lamp is lit in the courtyard near the sacred Tulsi plant. The Tulsi plant is considered to be very auspicious in Hinduism. The plant is known to possess various medicinal properties that can cure a person of various ailments.
On this occassion, the plant is cleaned and is placed on an earthen platform called a "Tulsi Bheti". Prayers and offerings are made to the Goddess Tulsi for the wellbeing of the family and for a good harvest and it continues for the whole month of October in which Kati Bihu occurs.
In the paddy fields, farmers light a special type of lamp, called 'Akash Banti' or sky candle. These lamps are placed high on the tips of bamboo poles. It is believed these lamps are lit to guide ancestors to heaven, practical purpose by drawing insects to the flame and their dead parts helps to keep the crops healthy.