Festivals in Assam

323 times

Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam have their roots in the diverse faith and belief of her inhabitants, but a spirit ofaccommodation and togetherness characterizes the celebration of all festivals.

The perfect fusion of heritage of her numerous races has made Assam the home of the most colorful festivals which are passionate, compelling and mesmerizing reflecting the true spirit, tradition and lifestlye of the people of Assam.

The major festivals celebrated in Assam are Bihu, Baishagu, Ali-Ai-Ligang, Baikho, Rongker, Rajini Gabra Harni Gabra, Bohaggiyo Bishu, Ambubashi Mela and Jonbill Mela and so on.

The people of Assam also celebrate Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali, Swaraswati Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja, Idd, Muharram, Me-Dam-Me-Phi, the birth and death anniversaries of Vaishnava Saints Srimanta Sankardev and Madhabdev.The tribals of Assam have their own colourful festivals like the Kherai Puja of the Bodos, the Baikhu and Pharkantis of the Rabhas, Ali-ai-ligang and Parag of the Mishing tribe, the Sagra-misawa wansawa and laghun of the Tiwas.

The Ahoms of Tai origin celebrate Me-Dum-Me-Phi on the 31st of January annually.

The Ojapali dances of non-Vaishnavite origin are usually associated with the Serpent Goddess Manasa.

Bathow festival is celebrated by the Kacharis through sacrifice of goats and chickens. The Boros of the plains in general have an intricate pattern of indigenous dances associated with the primitive rituals like Kherai Puja. The Dimasas celebrate Rangi Gobra and Harni Gobra at the start of the cropping cycle for prosperity to ward off calamities. The Deoris observe Bohagiya visu- the Spring time festival.

 

BIHU:

Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is celebrated with joy and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief. Bihu can be broadly divided into three categories: Bohag Bihu which augurs the wish for a good harvest because this is the time when farmers start sowing, Kaati Bihu which is observed to mark the cutting and binding of grains and Magh Bihu which marks the season of harvesting of grains.

Tribal groups like the Mishings, the Deoris, and the Morans celebrate "Bihu" with dances of their own distinctive style.




Ambubachi Mela:

Is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple of Guwahati and is held every year during monsoon (mid-June). It is a ritual of austerities celebrated with 'Tantric rites'. It is a common belief that the reigning diety, 'Kamakhya' , 'The Mother Shakti' goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this period.During Ambubashi the doors of the temple remain closed for three days. It is believed that the earth becomes impure for three days. During this time no farming work is undertaken. Daily worship and other religious performances are suspended during this period. After three days, the temple doors are reopened after the Goddess is bathed and other rituals performed. It is believed that the mother earth regains her purity now. This is purely a ritual of Tantric cult. Ambubachi mela is held at the Kamakhya temple, after being closed for the afore-mentioned three days. On the fourth day only the devotees are allowed to enter inside the temple for worship. Thousands of devotees from all over India visit this mela.

Me-Dum-Me-Phi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most important Ahom festival which deserves mention is the Me-Dum-Me-Phi, i.e., the ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community. This is performed annually on the 31st of January at some common venue. This in a way helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms. Colourful processions with devotees in traditional finery are also taken out on the occasion.

 
 Jonbeel Mela

This spectacular fair(mela) is held every year during winter at Jonbeel of Jagiroad, a lesser known township only 32 kms from Guwahati. A few days before the mela, tribes like the Tiwas, Karbis, Khasis, Jaintias from the Meghalaya hills come down with their various products for this mela. On the occasion of the 'mela' a big bazar is held here where these tribes exchange thier products with local people in barter system which is very rare in a civilized modern society.

Before the 'mela' they perform fire worship or agni puja for the well being of mankind. It is to be noted that during this mela the 'govaraja' or the king of the Tiwa trbe along with his courtiers visit this mela and collect taxes from his subjects. The significant point of this mela is its theme of harmony and brotherhood amongst various tribes and communities. During the 'mela' these communities perform their traditional dances and music to celebrate the mela in a befitting manner.
 
 
Baishagu

Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, 'Baishagu' is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis during mid April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodo tribe. The Bodos also celebrate it as a springtime festival at the advent of the new year.

The first day begins with worship of the cow. The next day which synchronises with the first day of the month of 'Bohag' of the Assamese almanac, the actual merriment begins with the young people of each household reverentialy bowing down to their parents and elders. The supreme deity 'Bathou' or Lord Shiva is worshipped during the festival by offering chicken and rice beer. In the Baishagu dance there is no age or sex bar, all are welcome to join in. The traditional musical instruments that are used in this dance festival are 'Khum' (drum), 'Jotha' (Manjari), 'Khawbang' (Taal), 'Gogona' (Mouth-organ) and 'Siphung' (Flute) etc. It is also customary at the time of closure of the Baishagu festival to offer community prayers at a particular place called 'Garjasali'.
 
 
Bohaggiyo Bishu

This is the most fascinating spring festival of the Deoris of Assam, one of the four divisions of the Chutiyas, who are believed to have been members of the great Boro race. The term 'Bishu' might have originated from the Chutiya word 'Bishu'. 'Bi' means extreme and 'Su' means 'rejoicing' like other Springtime tribal festivals.

Bohaggiyo Bishu is also observed during mid-April at a stretch for seven days withunrestricted joy and merrymaking. It is to be observed that the Deoris Bishu do not always fall on the Sankranti Day. The Bishu must be preceded by a 'Than puja' and evidently it must start on a Wednesday. There is much socio-religious significance and arrangements to be made before the puja. Once in every four years a white buffalo is sacrificed which is considered a substitute for the traditional human sacrifice. The Deodhani dance is the most important and significant part of the festival. Husori or carol song party is the main attraction.

 
 
 
Rajini Gabra & Harni Gabra

The annual festival of the colourful Dimasa tribe. It is exclusively a socio-religious festival which is generally observed before starting a new cultivation. Rajini Gabra is celebrated during day time. The 'Kunang' or the village headman propitiates the family deity by closing the village gate on the worship date. On the same night in a function called 'Harni Gabra', the presiding deity is worshipped for the protection and welfare of the people.

It is very interesting to note that during the Rajini Gabra and Hami Gabra festival if any outsider enters the village inspite off seeing the closed gate, the entire function is considered to be spoilt. The intruders then have to bear the total cost for holding the festival anew.

 
 
 
Rongker and Chomangkan

Rongker and Chomangkan are the two most important festivals of the Karbis, an indeginous tribe of Karbi Anglong.

Rongker is basically a springtime festival of merriment and is performed at the beginning of the New year, i.e. April. To propitiate different gods and goddesses for the well being of the entire village, the elderly male folk organise Rongker so thatpeople can be free from diseases and natural calamities for the entire year. They pray for a good harvest too. The women are not allowed to enter the worship arena during this festival.

On the other hand, Chomangkan is the festival dedicated to the dead. It is primarily a death ceremony. There is no particular time for holding this funeral ceremony. It depends upon the convenience of the locality. This festival is a must for every Karbi. It is a nonstop four days and four nights celebration.

 
 
 
Ali-Ai-Ligang

Ali-Ai-Ligang, the spring festival of the Mishing Tribe is the most colourful festival held every year on the first Wednesday (Ligange lange) of the month of 'Ginmur Polo' (February-March). 'Ali' means root, seed; 'Ai' means fruit and 'Ligang' means sow. That is why 'ceremonial' sowing of paddy starts on this day. A dance is performed by the young boys and girls, characterized by brisk stepping, flinging and flapping of hands and swaying of hips reflecting youthful passion, reproductive urge and joie-de-vivre.

"Poro Aapong" or rice beer, Pork and dried fish is essential for the feast. The festival continues for five days and during this festival certain taboos with respect to the cutting of trees, fishing, ploughing, burning jungles etc. are strictly observed.

 
 
 


Baikho

There is another colourful tribe in Assam, known as Rabhas. Although the Rabha community does not have any national festival of their own, the different groups celebrate their own festivals. The 'Baikho' or the Springtime festival is only celebrated to propitiate the goddess of wealth 'Baikho'. But unfortunately the pomp and grandeur of Baikho are not to be seen nowadays in the villages.

 
 
 
Dosa Thoi! Long Nai

This is a very important religious dance performed at the 'Bathou Puja' or worshipping of God-Shiva. In this dance the priestess called Deodini dances with a bowl of blood of a sacrificed fowl on her head. It is believed that while the Deodini performs this dance in a trance, Lord Bathou (Shiva) will snatch away the bowl and drink the blood.

 

 

Tagged under

 

3 comments

  • Comment Link Tyler Bungert Tyler Bungert Tuesday, 31 October 2017 07:08

    Dear Catlover and/or curious reader, I am working for my pet cats of http://mumcat.org and selling administrative and languages classes on http://mumcat.com. It is my life style and it feeds the cats. Originally I had only two kitties in a flat and had no particular intention to get further involved in the cat world. Did I exchange addictions? Shoe-cats? If you love cats or need virtual assistant for your website please visit my above websites. Thank you for taking the time and show us some love! You can contact me using my website contact form. Dalia Mumcat org administrative support

    Report
  • Comment Link Cliff Sagan Cliff Sagan Wednesday, 11 October 2017 16:40

    Hi, just wanted to post on the great experience we had with the above campaign. Great customer feedback, improved brand awareness. Would definitely do it again.

    Report
  • Comment Link Difference between flovent and ventolin. Flovent 50mcg - Fluticasone non prescription - antialler... Difference between flovent and ventolin. Flovent 50mcg - Fluticasone non prescription - antialler... Thursday, 22 June 2017 13:44

    Hello there, I found your web site by means of Google while searching for a comparable topic,
    your website came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, just turned into alert to your blog via Google, and found that it's
    really informative. I'm going to watch out for brussels. I'll appreciate if you
    continue this in future. A lot of other folks will probably be benefited
    from your writing. Cheers!

    Report

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

Our Location

ANANTA COMPLEX, TEZPUR, ASSAM, INDIA-Pin- 784001, Ph-9706598304

About Us

Welcome to Raju Tours and Travels, a premier travel agent operating in Assam and Northeastern part of India.We are a new generation service provider in the field of tourism and hospitality. Being young and dynamic, we well understand your passion for travelling and adventuring new horizons. We have the required expertise and experience to provide you the best of services. We are a dedicated and committed team who keep exploring various exquisite destinations across the region. For this reason, we stand out to be the best option for any travel and tourism related guidance and services. With us, you can well assure yourself that your experience in exploring North East India will be a treasure to remember.

Visit Us At

Newsletter

Sign Up for Our Newsletter:

Scroll to Top