Bihu 2020: Date, Significance and Rituals

Bihu 2020 is an important festival of Assam which is a State located in the Northeast of India, where this festival is celebrated as New Year. The Sun transits into Aries sign on this day, so this festival is considered to be the beginning of the New Year Calendar. The word Bihu has been taken from the language of the people of Dimas. It is a community farming since ancient time, they have their great God Brai Shibnai or father Shibnai who is worshipped on this day.

Bihu 2020

The basic word of Bihu is bishu in which 'b' means 'ask' and 'shu' means peace and prosperity on Earth. To adjust linguistic preference, it became a Bihu in which B means 'ask' and 'hoo' means to give. Bihu is simply a short form of the word Bishu. On this occasion, people start harvesting their crops and thank God for all the blessings he has showered them with. Dishes are made from crops grown in the field on this day. Firstly, prepared food is offered to God, then it is offered to all the guests and relatives.

The Festival of Bihu is celebrated not only once a year but three times. Bihu, which is celebrated on Makar Sankranti, is called Bhogali Bihu. Bihu celebrated on Vishuva Sankranti, is known as Rongali Bihu whereas Bihu, celebrated in the month of Karthik, is known as Kongali Bihu. Bhogali Bihu is celebrated in the middle of January. It has great significance as at this time there’s an abundance of food, granaries are full and there’s a celebration for the same. People wear ethnic clothes and distribute traditional dishes.

Bihu is celebrated in Assam and its nearby states with lots of joy and passion. The scenic beauty at this time of the year is mesmerising. Tradition surrounds every street, every corner and even the sky seems to be covered by the culture of Assam. It is the time when everyone is praying for happiness and prosperity. North - Eastern state of Assam celebrates all three Bihu festivals but the zeal and joy seen in Bohag Bihu is unlike any other. Since the customs are unparallel to any other, Bihu maintains a distinct identity among all the festivals of India.

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Bihu 2020: Significance and the ways to celebrate

The festival of Bihu is a festival completely associated with crop harvesting and progress. After this festival, the spring season arrives, as the winters pass. On this day, people clean their homes. A variety of dishes are prepared, people wear their traditional clothes and dance to the music of traditional instruments. Bihu celebrations do not last for just one day but are observed for seven days in which every day has its own significance.

For seven days, the charm of the festival remains in the mind of the people and the preparations for Bihu begin from the new year day itself. People wake up early to take a bath in the morning. A paste of raw turmeric and urad dal is applied while bathing, which makes the body refreshed and supple. After bathing, people wearing traditional dress start doing preparation for worshipping the Almighty. It is believed that prayers made on this day brings happiness and prosperity in the family; negativity stays away and you experience physical and mental peace. Taking blessings from elders is equally important.

On this day people embrace each other, distribute sweets and offer gifts. Khar, a special dish of Assam, made from raw papaya mixed with the stem of burnt Banana is cooked during Bihu. People perform traditional Bihu dance and also play traditional music, using instruments such as drums, rhythm, pepa, toka, Baahin, gogona.

Dancing together is a ritual mandatory for Bihu celebration. On this day, curd and jaggery are given with rice to eat. Women of the house make special arrangements for the day. Bihu is a festival representing togetherness and joy. People dance for the whole day and sing folk songs, thanking God and Nature for their gifts and praying for a good harvest, prosperity and peace.

Bihu celebrations in 2020

Festival Date Day
Magh Bihu 16 January Thursday
Bohag Bihu 14 April - 20 April Tuesday - Monday
Kati Bihu 18 October Sunday

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Dishes Made on Bihu

  • Five dishes are mainly made on the Bihu festival, which includes Jaaq, Masaur Tenga, Mashgo, Potato Pitika, Khar, etc.
  • Khar is a very popular dish of Assam which everyone likes to eat be it young or old. The base element is papaya, which also cleanses the stomach and balances the body.
  • Masore Tenga means fish. It is the most popular dish of Assam, in which lemon, tomatoes, herbs, kokam etc. are added, which makes the taste slightly sour.
  • Jacques or greens are made from green leafy vegetables, with a variety of Masalas, cumin and garlic.
  • Potato pitika is a very light dish which is called Chokha in Bihar. It is made with boiled potatoes, onion, garlic and mustard oil. • Maschō, which is Mutton curry, is a non-vegetarian dish which is very popular in Assam.

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Bihu 2020: Performing the Rituals

Bihu celebrations are done in a peculiar manner which is unique and of great importance for Assamese people. They dance and sing but worshipping rituals are to be practised with utmost care. Every individual who celebrates this festival adheres to a set of rules, failing which the prayers are considered incomplete. The main reason behind celebrating this festival of harvest is to thank God for what we have received and pray for what we desire and if you do not perform the rituals with complete dedication, the prayers are not answered as per local belief. Otherwise as well, in every religious event, ceremonies and rituals are practised with caution, so nothing goes wrong.

To enjoy the festival at the fullest, it is extremely important to know the method of worship, time, tradition and beliefs. Mentioned below are norms that you must follow if you are celebrating the festival of Bihu.

  • On this day Basil must be planted inside the house. Tulsi is a revered herb and having it inside the premises of your home is considered particularly auspicious.
  • Food is served to all the people who pay a visit to your home on this day, dessert is definitely included in it.
  • It is considered auspicious to build a high dome with straw and bamboo wood, as doing so brings peace and prosperity.
  • It is considered inauspicious to touch the peepal tree and acacia tree on this day.
  • It is mandatory to take a bath early in the morning and wear traditional dress.
  • The dishes cooked should be made from the crops recently harvested.

Hope you enjoyed reading the article about Bihu. Best wishes from MyKundali.