Folk Dance Bihu :-
Bihu or Bohag Bihu is the most important festival of the people of Assam and is celebrated in mod-April to welcome spring. Cattle rites are performed on the first day, and homage is paid to elders, relatives and friends on the second day with a special Bihu meal. The third day is set apart for religious services. Games and sports, special Bihu songs and dances, fairs, etc., are a part of the Bihu celebrations. The Assamese also celebrate Magh Bihu in January, and Kati Bihu in October. The Bihus are the national festivals of Assam. The most important festivals of Assam are the Bihus, celebrated with fun and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.
The Three Bihus in Assam
In a year there are three Bihu festivals in Assam - in the months of Bohaag (Baisakh, the middle of April), Maagh (the middle of January), and Kaati (Kartik, the middle of October). The Assamese Bihus have been celebrated since ancient times. Each Bihu coincides with a distinctive phase in the farming calendar. The most important and colourful of the three Bihu dance festival is the harvest festival Bohag Bihu or Rangali Bihu celebrated in the middle of April. This is also the beginning of the agricultural season.
1. The Bohaag Bihu or the Rongali Bihu
Rongaali Bihu’, the most important Bihu of all the three, is celebrated in the month of Bohaag (middle of April), the first month of the Assamese calendar and thus marks the advent of the Assamese New Year. This Bihu is also known as Rongaali ( ‘Rong’ denoting joy in Assamese)
2. The Magh Bihu or the Bhogali Bihu
The Magh or the Bhogali Bihu, the harvesting festival is celebrated in January by community feast, buffalo fight and such other entertainment. The Maagh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting period. Maagh Bihu is also called Bhogaali Bihu or the Festival of Food. It is held in temporary thatched houses (made with thatch and dry plantation leaves/ trunk) known as Bhela Ghar or Meji Ghar) specially erected for the purpose mainly in the barren paddy fields from where the crop has already been harvested. A Community feast is one of the main features of this Bihu which is held near the Bhela Ghar. People spent the night of the community feast in the Bhela Ghar and early in the morning the same is lit with fire, culminating the function. A variety of traditional Assamese sweets and cakes like the Laru, Pitha etc. are prepared on the occasion in every home. The next day is spent by visiting relatives and friends to convey and exchange the Bihu greetings; the guests, neighbours and relatives are treated with the snacks prepared for occasion.
3. The Kati Bihu to the Kongaali Bihu
Compared to "Rongali" and Bhogali Bihu, "Kati Bihu" is a tame affair celebrated in the month of Kartika. the Kaati Bihu marks the completion of sowing and transplanting of paddies. Kaati Bihu is also called Kongaali Bihu or the Festival of the Poor. It is held in the beginning of the Kati (7th month of the Assamese calendar) (middle of October), the Bihu marks silent prayer in the form of lighting of earthen lamps in the paddy fields and also near Tulasi tree for the success of the crop.
One important aspect of the Bihu festival is that the entire Assamese Community irrespective caste, creed and religious followings celebrate it.
Musical Instrument Used In Bihu :-
The folk songs associated with Bohaag Bihu are known as ‘Bihu Geet’; Bihu Geet is symbolic of communication of love and romance among the village youth and the village belles. The merriments include famous Bihu dance along with the enthralling beats of Dhol, Gangana. Toka and Pepa (buffalo hornpipe). Songs sung during the Bihu festival are woven around themes of love and most of the time carry erotic overtones.
Costumes of Bihu Dance:-
Dancers wear traditionally colorful Assamese clothing. People adorn traditional attires like Dhoti, Gamocha and Chadar, Mekhala. People wearing the bright colourful clothethes add as an extra positive outlook towards the dance.
Picture of Bihu Dance :-
Video's of Bihu Dance :-