January brings with it the celebration of winter harvests, colourful festivities and warm celebrations. And one festival that sums up this fun and jovial time has to be Magh Bihu. Magh Bihu 2020 will be celebrated on January 16 by Asameese people across the world. The annual festival of Assam, also known as Bhogali Bihu celebrates the end of harvesting by the indigenous ethnic groups of Assam. Magh Bihu celebrations include everything from grand festivities and bonfires to delicious feasts and coming together of the community. It is one of the crucial festivals for Assamese people and is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. As we inch closer to this celebration, here is everything you need to know about the history and significance of Magh Bihu, rituals of Bhogali Bihu celebrations and more! Magh Bihu 2020 Special Recipes: From Masor Tenga to Narikol Pitha, 5 Assamese Delicacies to Savour on Bhogali Bihu.
When is Magh Bihu?
Magh Bihu is the harvest festival widely celebrated in the north-eastern state of Assam and falls in the month of Magh. Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu 2020 will be celebrated on January 16. The Assamese celebration of Sankranti, Magh Bihu is dedicated to the lord of fire, Agni. The celebrations of this festival actually starts one day before the actual festivity, which is called Bihu Eve or Uruka.
Sankranti Moment on Magh Bihu - 02:22 AM, Jan 15, 2020.
Why is Magh Bihu Celebrated?
As already highlighted, Magh Bihu marks the end of the winter harvest season and the celebrations are focused on paying tribute to the fire god. The word 'Bihu' is believed to have originated from the word 'Bishu' that means 'to ask for peace', and this festival is also known as Bhogali Bihu. Bhogali focuses on the feasting aspect of this festival. Bihu celebrations are all about getting together with the community, celebrating with fun games and delicious delicacies and of course the traditional lighting of the bonfire (Meji).
How is Bhogali Bihu celebrated?
Bhogali Bihu celebrations include a lot of rituals and traditions, right from preparing the delicious Bhog or feast which consists of various types of rice cakes (pitha), Laru (ladoo made of sesame, coconut, murmura or puffed rice and rice flour) and Sandoh Guri. However, this festival is much more than just the delicacies. Magh Bihu embodies the spirit of Assam to the fullest. The festivities which begins on Uruka, where families come together and prepare the scrumptious dishes that they can relish the next day. On the day of Bihu, the most important ritual is to build the Meji, a bonfire built from green bamboo, banana leaves. The hut-like structure is worshipped and Chicken, Rice cakes, Rice beers prepared by different tribes, Chira, Pitha, Horoom, curd, and other eatables are all offered to the Meji. The ashes from the Meji are later scattered to trees and crops to increase their fertility.
Magh Bihu celebrations are all about the gathering of community and people enjoy playing various fun and festive games together before the burning of the Meji. while this lighting of the bonfire occurs in the evening, people enjoy the luncheons on Bihu with their families, accompanied by treats like Fish curries, Chicken, Pork, Duck, Rice, Rice Beer, Mutton. We hope that you bring in this beautiful festival with all the zeal and warmth this year as well.