GUWAHATI, April 6 - The three-day Rongali festival got under way at the Sonaram High School playground at Bharalumukh here yesterday evening.
The programme includes husori in front of an Assamese-style house under a big tree on the bank of the Brahmaputra. The ambience has been created by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee and art and crafts maestro Nuruddin Ahmed.
Alok Kumar, Chief Secretary of Assam, inaugurated the event by lighting the ceremonial lamp. The daytime programmes saw folk dance items from various north-eastern states, such as warrior dance of Nagaland, Cheraw dance of Mizoram, Hojagiri dance of Tripura, Dhol Chalam dance of Manipur, sword dance and Mising dance of Assam.
Besides dance, the evening saw an enchanting musical performance by various musical groups, including Tejal Verma, Sunny and Ankur, Rap Box, Twin City, Anubhav the Actors Guild, DJ Brahmin FT Minimi & Basshole, Rain in Sahara and DJ Dee North East Waste Collective.
The event�s chief organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta said the main aim of the festival is to promote Rongali or Bohag Bihu on the global tourism platform. �We are happy to organise the festival for five years in a row. We want to make Rongali Bihu a major celebration,� he added.
This time the husori competition will feature 15 top husori teams of the State, showcasing their talent. The winner will be awarded a cash price of Rs 1 lakh.
�This time we are organising the competition and it is going to be a tough one for the participants as well as the judges because all the contestants are competent and popular,� said Dr Prasanna Gogoi, Bihu Guru, who has been also judging the three-day contest.
The festival paid tribute to Abhijeet Nath and his friend Nilotpal Das who were lynched by a mob last year. The festival has created a creative zone dedicated to Abhi-Neel, where some of Nilotpal's last installations are being displayed.
Several groups performed conscious music and staged dramas to create awareness against lynching and superstition.