GUWAHATI, Jan 15 - People across the State celebrated Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu on Saturday amid traditional merriment and festive fervour.
The early hours of the Bihu day were marked by the burning of the traditional meji (sacred bonfire) and the bhelaghar (a makeshift thatched house where people joyously spend the uruka night, i.e., the night before the Bihu), as people reaffirmed their faith in all that is good and pure before the holy fire.
Magh Bihu, which is among the three Bihus of the people of the State � the other two being Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu and Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu � is essentially a harvest festival which marks the end of the harvesting season in the month of Magh (January-February). Magh Bihu is marked by large-scale feasting as the festivities coincide with the harvesting season which is generally a time of plenty.
The city, too, had its fair share of the celebrations. The day of the uruka was marked by heavy crowds in all the city markets, as the Bihu revellers descended on the markets with gusto and bought bagfuls of fish, meat, curd, cream, milk, and other traditional Bihu delicacies. Even the spiralling rise of foodstuff, particularly fish, failed to dampen their spirits and the markets were almost empty by evening.
On the Bihu day, people visited friends and relatives and partook of traditional delicacies such as varieties of laroos, pithas, doi-cheera, etc.
Traditional sports including the famous buffalo fight of Ahatguri in Nagaon district were a big hit with the people on Bihu day. The buffalo fight went on despite there being a ban by the Supreme Court on the sport on the ground that it amounts to an act of cruelty to animals.
Localities across the city organised cultural functions in the evening. Art and sports contests were also conducted among school children.
The Bihu day also witnessed large crowds in all the public spaces across the city including the Assam State Zoo, Nehru Park, Shraddhanjali Kanon, Basisthashram, Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, etc.