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Sankranti

BIHAG BIHU

The Bihag Bihu is celebrated for three days, i.e., 13th or 14th and 15th of April every year, each of these days bearing separate names:
GARUR Bihu (also called URAKA)
MANUHOR Bihu
GAMBORI Bihu.

Garur Bihu
Garur Bihu is earmarked for highlighting cows.Cow is the best loved animal whose milk is nourishing even for small children. The cow is called GOMATA, or 'Mother cow'.
The animals are taken to the riverside or pond, given a wash and cleansed. Moong dal paste mixed with haldi (turmeric, a disinfectant) is applied to the horns and hooves of the animals. Bullocks that do so much of work for the farmer are also included in this event.
Pieces of aubergine, turmeric, and bottle gourd (ghiya) (Lagenaria Siceraria) are thrown on the cattle amidst shouts of "Lau kha, bhengena kha, bachare bachare barhi ja". The animals are tethered with new ropes and garlanded with a collection of different kinds of leaves. This festival though done as a religious ceremony. It actually shows the concern of the farmer for these animals, which toil along with him so that food is available to the populace. That apart, members of households do enjoy specially prepared food. instead of plain rice, beaten rice (Chirva) cooked into different dishes is partaken. In addition, sweets of all kinds are served to everyone.
Manuhor Bihu
The second day, i.e., 14th April called the Manuhor Bihu (bihu for human beings) is the Assamese New Year Day. The feast on this day is called Bihu kaboloi. New clothes are worn with "gomacha" which is a sort of decorated towel in various designs, tied round the waist or head. Women dress themselves in Mekhele chadar of muga silk, a speciality of Assam. 'Bihu dals' (groups of people celebrating Bihu) come and dance to the accompaniment of music consisting of devotional songs in what is known as hosari style, praising Sri Krishna and invoking His blessings for all. After going round the streets, the Bihu dals assemble in open spaces called Bihu toli. Dancing competitions and beauty pageants follow, to everyone's merriment. Winner's names are announced in newspapers in a week's time.
Gambori Bihu
Gambori Bihu on the third day is an exclusively women's affair. Men are strictly are kept out. The women dance to rythmic clapping and singing all through the night under a banyan tree, which is sacred as it provides shelter and shade to everyone from rain and sun.