Then in the month of October, generally in the middle of it, comes the second of Bihu festival: Kongali Bihu. Kongali Bihu has a different side to it. A sense of constraint and solemnity prevails and the celebrations are a lot mellower. On this day, people of Assam state of India – light up earthen lamps at the foot of the household tulsi plant, the garden, and the paddy fields. A ritual of whirling a piece of bamboo stick in the paddy fields and reciting Rowa Khowa chants is performed on the day. These chants are believed to fend off all pests and an evil eye. In the evening, Pitha made of coconut and rice is prepared and is fed to the cattle. And the practice of lighting of akaxbonti (lamps) at the tip of a tall bamboo pole to show the way to souls of the dead to heaven is also related to the festival of Kongali Bihu.
Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is the last of the Bihu festivals and falls in the middle of the month of January. It is an Assamese equivalent of Makar Sakranti and Pongal. Derived from the word Bhog, which means eating and enjoyment, Magh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting season, especially that of rice. The festivities include exchanging sweets and greetings, community feasting, sports like buffalo fight, egg fight, cock fight and dance and music. To celebrate the occasion, people erect a hut like structure called Bhelaghar, made of hay and meji. The entire night, called Uruka, is spent around various Bhelaghars in the above mentioned festivities and merrymaking. In the morning, after taking a bath, these huts are burnt and burnt firewood is taken for various purposes. All the three Bihus signify different phases of Assam. The date for each has been given below.
Bihu Date: Bhogali, Rongali & Kongali Bihu Date
- Bihu 2020: Wednesday January 15, 2020
- Bhogali Bihu / Magh Bihu: January 15, 2020
- Rongali (Bohag) Bihu: April 14 – 20, 2020
- Kongali Bihu: 18 October, 2020