Colourful festivals of Assam

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Assam is a land of numerous races, which makes the land most colorful. Different religious festivals are celebrated among different communities or tribes that reflects traditions, lifestyles of the inhabitants of the land.

Ali-Aye-Ligang
It is a cultivation related festival celebrated by the Mishing tribes of Assam. It has been celebrated for 5 days, starting with the first Wednesday of Fagun month of Assamese calendar.  Ali-Aye-Ligang made up of three terms, ‘Ali’, means legumes, ‘Aye’,  means seed and ‘Ligang’, means to sow.

Bash Puja
Celebrated by Hajong tribes in the month of Baisag, the first month of Assamese year.  In this puja three newly cut bamboos are used to worshipped.

Bathow Puja
Celebrated by ‘Bodo’ tribes. The ‘Siju’ plant is represented as their prime god Bathow or Sibrai. Deodhani and kherai dance are performed by them to satisfy their God.

Bihu

Bihu is the most famous and popular agriculture based festival celebrated in Assam. Bihu is celebrated three times in a year with different names viz. Bohag Bihu, Kati Bihu & Magh Bihug

  • Bohag Bihu: It is observed from the last day of Chaitra (last month of Assamese calendar). It is celebrated as Goru Bihu. In the morning of Goru Bihu cows and oxen are washed in a pond or Beel and tie them with new ropes (Tarali pagha). The next day is called Manuh Bihu that is the first day of the month of Bohag, on this day younger pay respect to their elders and give them ‘phulam Gamochas’ and Bihu Hochori is performed by young men and women.
  • Kati Bihu: On the day of Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu, people lighted earthen lamp near tulsi and in the fields and pray god for good harvest.
  • Magh Bihu:Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is celebrated after the annual harvest and is a festival mainly of food. The day before the Magh Bihu is called Uruka, people built bhelaghar with bamboo and straw and eat a huge feast (urukar bhoj) and pass the night inside the bhelaghar. The next morning after the burning of mejis, people eat several kinds of delicious foods like chira, doi, pitha etc.

Doljatra or Fakua
It was first  introduced by Srimanta Shankardeva. This festival is popularly celebrated in Barpeta and Bordowa.  Doul Utsav or Doulayatra is also called ‘Holi‘. Holigeets of Barpeta are popular.

Eid
It is a religious festival celebrated in the Muslim community. There are two Eid namely Eid-UL-Fitre and Eid-UL-Zoha, Eid-UL-fitre is also known as Ramjan Eid, which is celebrated in the  holy month of Ramjan, in the entire month they are in fasting and at the end of the month they celebrate the festival as  the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities. Eid-UL-zoha is known as Bakri Eid, it is celebrated as a symbol of sacrifice.

Janmastami
It is a religious festival celebrated on the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. As Lord Krishna was born at midnight, that’s why it is celebrated at night in the month of Assamese calendar Bhado.

Kali Puja 
Kali Puja dedicated to the worship of Goddess Kali in the Assamese calendar month Kati.

Lakshmi Puja
Goddess Lakshmi is known as the chief of wealth and property, that’s why Lakshmi Puja  is celebrated to satisfy Goddess Lakshmi in the Poornima night of in the month of Ashwin.

Mahoho
It is celebrated in lower Assam to drive out mosquitoes in the Poornima night of aghoon month.

Pachati
It is celebrated on the fifth day of the Janmastami at temples, satras and namghars. In this festival mainly women, are involved and they are fasting for the whole day and celebrated at night in the form of naam and bhaona.

Saraswati Puja
Saraswati Puja is celebrated on Basant Panchami to worship the chief Goddess of Education.

Satya Narayan Puja
It is a religious festival performed by the Hindus to worship God Vishnu, during social functions like marriages, house-warming ceremonies, naming of the children and so on.

Shivratri
Shivratri is performed to worship God Shiva. Maha Shivratri means “the great night of Shiva“. It is celebrated on a large scale in Sukleswar, Umanada temple, Shiv Dol and Mahabhairav temple.

Tusu Puja
Tusu Puja is celebrated among the tea tribes of Assam to worship Goddess Tusu in the assamese calendar month Magh. A colorful dance jhumur is performed during the puja.

Rongker
It is a cultivation related festival observed among the Karbi tribe of Assam. During this festival worship different Gods and Goddesses for the welfare of the village.

Porag
It is a post harvest festival celebrated by the Mishing community of Assam. It is also known as ‘Nara Singha Bihu’.     

Rajni Gabra & Harni Gabra
These are two colorful festivals celebrated among the Dimasa community of Assam before the starting of new cultivation. Rajni Gabra is performed in the day time and Harni Gabra performed in the night time.

Chomangkan
It is a death ritual performed by the karbi community for the eternal peace of the deceased.

The Brahmaputra Beach festival
It is celebrated on the beaches of the mighty river Brahmaputra during the time of Magh Bihu. The aim of the festival is to promote indigenous culture, crafts and popularizing traditional sports of Assam.

Dehing Patkai festival
It is celebrated in the month of January at Lekhapani in Tinsukia district. Organized by the Govt. of Assam. The festival is named after the majestic Patkai range and the mischievous Dihing River.

Tea festival
This festival is celebrated every year in the month of November in Jorhat District organized by the tourist department. It is all about tea, music and merriment.

Majuli festival
Majuli festival is celebrated on the bank of river Luit in a backdrop of spellbinding landscape at a distance of 1.5 kms from Garamur, sub-divisional headquarter of Majuli. This festival is celebrated during the winter season, it is all about a rich package of cultural conglomerations and eternal beauty.

Me-Dum-Me-Phi
It is celebrated among the Ahom community to worship their ancestors on 31st January every year. Literally, ‘Me’ means worship, ‘Dam’ means the dead, and ‘Phi’ means God. That is, the dead ones are worshipped as gods by the Ahoms.

Elephant festivals

Every year this festival is celebrated at Kaziranga National Park for the conservation and protection of Asiatic Elephants. The festival is organized by the forest and tourism department and Govt. of Assam.

 

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