GUWAHATI, April 13 � On the eve of the most colourful and endearing festival of the State � Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, citizens have left no stone unturned to celebrate the occasion with traditional fun and merriment. With the first showers of spring bringing some respite after a dusty spell, the ambience has got fresh and greener, adding to the enthusiasm of the people.
Rural Assam, all colourful with myriad wild blossoms at this time of the year, is witnessing a flurry of activities with just one day left for Goru Bihu. The first day of the Bohag Bihu � called Goru Bihu � falls tomorrow. The day is reflective of the agrarian culture of the State wherein man and animal share a bond of love and affection. At the crack of dawn, owners of cattle get busy. The morning is marked by garlanding of the cows and bullocks with wreaths of vegetables, smearing the animals with a paste of turmeric and black gram, after which the animals are taken to ponds and rivers to be given a ceremonial bath. The tradition seeks longevity and good health for the cattle, which is integral to development of the rural economy.
The second day is known as Manuh Bihu, where the thrust is on merry-making and the general Bihu celebrations. The day begins with the young seeking the blessings of the elders in the morning. The senior citizens throng the namghars (community prayer halls) for a prosperous year. Hussori troupes visit households, especially in the rural areas, and present Bihu song and dance performances. Colourful Bihu functions start, which continue for several days. The day is also spent in visiting relatives and friends.
However, the spiralling prices of essential commodities, have cast a shadow over the festive spirit for a big segment of the populace belonging to the lower middle class, which is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the situation.
Meanwhile, along with the rest of the State, the capital city is ready to celebrate Bohag Bihu in a remarkable way.
Hundreds of Bihutolis (community Bihu pandals) have come up in various localities of the city � all of which will be reverberating with the joyous Bihu spirit with three/four-day programmes. Besides the regular Bihu song and dance and Hussori competitions, the organisers have roped in reputed artistes to perform at the functions. The events also include sports and literary contests among children.