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Magh Bihu 2024: Rituals and revelry of Bhogali Bihu 

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Guwahati, Jan 15: Magh Bihu, also known as Bhogali Bihu or Maghar Domahi, stands as a jubilant harvest festival celebrated in Assam, nestled in North-East India; a vibrant occasion that signifies the culmination of the harvesting season, unfolding its festive fervour in the month of Magh, typically falling in mid-January.

Assam's Bhogali Bihu: Dance and meji bonfires light up festivities

A ceremonial bonfire, referred to as ‘Meji’, becomes the focal point for concluding the festival with prayers dedicated to the God of Fire. The youth partake in constructing temporary huts known as Bhelaghar, which is fashioned from bamboo, leaves, and thatch. The Bhelaghar becomes the venue for enjoying the feast, followed by burning of these huts the next morning.


The evening preceding Magh Bihu, known as ‘Uruka’, witnesses community members gathering for a shared feast around bonfires. Participants engage in cooking dinner, reveling in merrymaking that sets the tone for the festive celebrations to follow.  Traditional Assamese dishes, particularly those crafted from the recently harvested crops, are prepared.

On the day of Magh Bihu, the ‘mejis’ and the ‘bhelaghors’ are ignited as part of the ‘Meji Jaluwa’ ritual to honour Agni, the God of Fire. Prayers are offered, seeking prosperity and fertility. This act symbolises the conclusion of the harvest season. The ashes resulting from the Meji and Bhelaghar bonfires find purpose in gardens and fields, enriching soil fertility. This practice aligns with agricultural beliefs, aiming to promote the prosperity of crops.

Magh Bihu 2024: Rituals and revelry of Bhogali Bihu 

During the Magh Bihu revelry, the people of Assam cook delectable rice cakes, such as Sunga Pitha and Til Pitha, alongside coconut-based sweets like Laru, and many more. The celebration not only honours the agricultural abundance but also becomes a cultural showcase.

Magh Bihu celebrations also extend beyond culinary delights and bonfires to include traditional Assamese games such as tekeli bhonga (pot-breaking) and buffalo fighting, adding an element of cultural richness and exuberance to the festivities.

As the flames of Meji and Bhelaghar illuminate the dawn, symbolising the end of one season and the promise of another, Magh Bihu becomes a testament to the rich heritage of Assam.

Also Read: Meghalaya Games 2024 | U18 Girls’ Football: East Khasi Hills blow away South West Garo Hills with 18 goals!

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