GUWAHATI, April 13 - With only a day left for the Bohag Bihu or the Rongali Bihu, the biggest festival of the Assamese, people are all set to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.
With showers at some places providing a much-needed respite to the people ahead of the Bihu and also lending a fresh touch to the atmosphere after the dry and dusty fagun days, the enthusiasm of the people for the Bihu seems to have increased.
The first day of the Bohag Bihu, called Goru Bihu (cow Bihu), falls tomorrow. An occasion dedicated to the cow which is intrinsically linked to the State�s agrarian economy and rural life, it exemplifies the bond of love and affection between the cow and its owner.
The morning of the day is marked by garlanding of the cows with wreaths of vegetables, after which the animals are taken to ponds and rivers for a good bath. People also beat the animals with dighalati (a plant with medicinal value) leaves to ward off fleas and insects and sing lao kha bengena kha, bachare bachare barhi ja (eat bottle gourd and brinjal and be a robust one).
The second day is known as Manuh Bihu (people�s Bihu), where the thrust is on merry-making and the general Bihu celebrations. The day begins with the young seeking the blessings of the elder in the morning. Hussori troupes visit households, especially in the rural areas, and present Bihu songs and dances. The colourful Bihu functions continue for several days. The day is also spent in visiting relatives and friends.
Meanwhile, along with the rest of the State, the city has also geared up for a grand Bihu celebration. Around a hundred bihutolis (community Bihu pandals) have come up in various localities of the city � all of which will be reverberating with the 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 in the functions. The events during daytime include sports and literary contests among children.
Spiralling rise in prices of essential commodities, however, has cast a shadow over the festive spirit among a big segment of the populace belonging to the lower middle class.