Magh Bihu Festival
|2023||Jan 14 – 15, 2023|
|2024||To be announced|
Magh Bihu is one of the best festivals in Assam. It is one of the 3 Bihus celebrated on a grand scale by the people of Assam. It is the harvest festival celebrated during Makar Sankranti time all over India and is known in varied names in different parts of India like as Lohri in Punjab, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ugaadi in Karnataka, Uttarayan in Gujarat. Each state has its own way of celebrating the festival, but the significance of the festival remains the same – to mark the end of the winter solstice and harvest season and welcome the warmer days in India. Magh Bihu in Assam is also referred as Bhogali Bihu. It is an annual festival, more like a community festival where family, friends, relatives, neighbours – all gather to celebrate, pray, eat and have fun.
As per the Bengali calendar, Magh Bihu is observed on the first day of the month of Magh, and hence the name – Magh Bihu. Magh Bihu 2023 dates are 14th and 15th January. Magh Bihu is celebrated for 2 days. Book your tickets for Magh Bihu 2023 Tour in Assam.
How is the festival celebrated?
Uruka: The first day is call “Uruka” and it is a night of feasts for everyone in Assam. On Uruka day, each household in Assam will prepare various Assamese delicacies, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, including pithas and laddoos. An age-old tradition observed on the day of Uruka is that of fishing or buying fresh fish from the river ghats. The fresh catch is used towards the preparation of various delicacies for the Uruka feast. Preparations start from early morning so as to make elaborate snacks and savouries to be served at night as dinner. Bon fire is lit at night and people have great fun with dance and music and food. They have a grand feast with friends and relatives around, and everyone is welcomed with open arms.
Magh Bihu: The second day is the Makar Sankranti day and is the actual Magh Bihu. A unique feature that highlights the festival is the making and burning of Bhelaghar or Mejighar, which is a temporary structure made of bamboo, wood, dry leaves, and leftover stumps of paddy, which is burnt early morning on the Sankranti day.
In Assam’s villages, you will come across lot such Bhelaghars during this time, which are built by the villagers much before Uruka. These are seen in various shapes and sizes, right from huts to animal shapes, to other figurines. The community grounds or the courtyards of households look awesome with these bhelaghars. The bhelaghars are generally made in the villages but in today’s time, in the urban areas, readymade bhelaghars are available.
On Magh Bihu, everyone takes bath early morning, offer prayers to Lord Sun and gather together to set fire the bhelaghars. They also make offerings of prasad, ghee, pithas to the burnt meji or bhela ghars. The burning of the Meji symbolises the triumph of light over darkness. Once the bhelaghars are reduced to ashes, the ashes are collected and mixed into the fertiliser. It is a belief that this makes the fields more fertile, hence resulting to a good harvest.
During the entire day, people visit each other’s home and have feast. Magh Bihu is referred as Bhogali as it is an occasion for Assamese people to enjoy (bhog kora), it is a celebration of abundance and bountiful nature.
Assam in North East part of India is a gateway to a wonderful land of nature’s beauty. One of the best times to visit Assam is during the Magh Bihu time. You can plan a festival tour to Assam with the best inbound tour operators in India. All Assamese people celebrate Magh Bihu with a lot of passion and fervour and thereby strengthens a sense of belonging. Magh Bihu festival tour is one of the best festival tours in Assam.