GUWAHATI, April 15 - People of Assam rose in unison in celebrating the Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu � the biggest festival of the State � with gaiety and traditional fervour.
The spiralling rise in the prices of essential commodities, however, did dampen the festivities for a sizeable segment of the populace belonging to the lower middle class which is finding it increasingly difficult to spare enough for such occasions.
In the city, as also in many places across the State, showers added to the Spring pleasantness and provided some much-needed respite from the heat and dust, creating the perfect ambience for the Bihu enthusiasts.
The city had its fair share of the celebrations as the people ushered in the Assamese New Year, which is heralded by the Rongali Bihu, in a befitting manner. Hundred-odd Bihutolis � suitably decorated for the purpose � hosted Bihu functions late into the night, drawing huge appreciating crowds.
Earlier on the first day of the Bihu on Wednesday � called Goru Bihu which is dedicated to the cow � people took out their cattle to water-bodies for the ritual bathing of the cows. The occasion, which reaffirms the unique bond of love and affection between the cow and its owner, witnessed spontaneous mass participation in rural and suburban areas.
The second day � known as Manuh Bihu (People�s Bihu) � saw widespread merry-making in the form of Bihu dances and hussori. The day began with the young seeking the blessings of the elder in the morning. Hussori troupes visited households, especially in the rural areas, to present Bihu performances. Colourful Bihu functions also marked the occasion.
In the city, the Bihu mandaps reverberated with the joyous Bihu spirit, with a host of colourful programmes. The regular Bihu song and dance and hussori competitions apart, many reputed artistes including Zubeen Garg, Angaraag Mahanta, Sangeeta Kakati, Manas Robin, Zublee, Priyanka Bharali, Dikshu, Babu, Bidyasagar, Barnali Kalita, among others, are taking part in the celebrations which continue for four-five days in most of the Bihu mandaps.