GUWAHATI, April 13:The upcoming Lok Sabha elections can’t dampen the spirit of the Rongali Bihu Festival, the biggest festival of the Assamese people, which will begin from Sunday.
The people are set to welcome Rongali and Assamese New Year amidst the controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and other political issues. Rongali or Bohag Bihu marks the first day of the Hindu solar calendar and is also observed in Bengal, Manipur, Mithila, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Sunday is Goru Bihu. The day is dedicated to the caring upkeep of livestock. The cattle are washed with a combination of symbolic herbs: maah-halodhi (black gram and turmeric paste), whipped dighloti (litsea salicifolia, a plant with long leaf), makhioti (flemingia strobilifera, ” tonglati “a plant with flower like soft plastic butter-fly) and pieces of lau (bottle gourd) and bengena (brinjal).
It will be followed by Manuh Bihu and Gosai Bihu on Monday and Tuesday. Various Bihu committees are making elaborate arrangements to draw crowd to the Bihu functions.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi and chief minister Sonowal greeted people on the occasion of Rongali Bihu festival.
In a statement, Sonowal said, “Rongali Bihu is a festival which constitutes the life line of the people of Assam and the crux of the composite culture of the state. This Bihu is the harbinger of new hope and possibility and its celebration reinforces our age-old bond of unity and camaraderie. May the Rongali Bihu usher a new era of peace, prosperity and progress for all sections of people of the state”.