Bihu 2019 Date in India: Bihu is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Assam. It marks the shift in the Sun’s solstice, and the beginning of the Assamese New Year. Bihu is celebrated three times during the year – Rongali or Bohag Bihu during the month of April, Kongali Bihu in October, and Bhogali Bihu in January.
Out of the three, Rongali or Bohag Bihu, which will be celebrated on April 15 this year, is the most important. It is observed at the same time as Baisakhi in Punjab, Vishu in Kerala, Poila Baisakh in Bengal, and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.
The word Bihu is originally derived from the Sanskrit word ‘bishu’, which means to ask for prosperity from the Gods during important junctures of the harvest season. It is commonly believed that the festival received its name from two different words – “bi” which means to ask, and “hu” which means to give.
The main celebration starts on the day of Goru (cow) Bihu, where livestock is washed with a combination of symbolic herbs like black gram and turmeric paste, whipped litsea salicifolia, and pieces of bottle gourd and brinjal. After the bath, they are decorated with new harnesses and garlands.
The second day is known as Manuh (human) Bihu where people take a bath with black gram and turmeric paste, wear new clothes, seek blessings from the elders and exchange gifts. A traditional Bihu dance is performed by both men and women, which is the high point of the festival.
The third day is called Gosai (God’s) Bihu. People worship idols after cleaning their homes. The rest of the celebrations take place on Kutum Bihu, Senehi Bihu, Chera Bihu and Mela Bihu.