Festivals of NorthEast India

Festivals in North East India flaunt its rich culture. Most of the festivals here are either related to agriculture, Buddhism or beginning of a New Year. There are many festivals that extend over a number of days and include folk/tribal dance and music. These festivals also present a wonderful opportunity for the people belonging to different tribes to bond. The sumptuous delicacies, interesting costumes, soulful music, warm hospitality and the lively ambiance give one enough reasons to be a part of the festivity in the North East.


Bihu Festival, Assam

Most famous for its tea gardens and rare Great Indian One-Horned Rhinocerous, Assam also has three major cultural festivals a year, all known as Bihu, that mark a particular period on the agricultural calendar. The biggest and most colorful of the three is Bohaag Bihu (also known as Rongali Bihu), which is celebrated at seeding time in spring with plenty of singing and dancing. It also marks the start of the new year there.

The first day is dedicated to the cows, which are vital to agriculture. The second day is spent visiting friends and relatives, along with plenty of singing and dancing. On the third day, deities are worshiped.

Kaati Bihu, at the completion of paddy transplanting, is a relatively solemn occasion involving the lighting of lamps to guide souls to heaven. The end of the harvest season is marked by Maagh Bihu (also known as Bhogali Bihu), with bonfires feasting, buffalo fights, and pot breaking.

When: Bohaag/Rongali Bihu (mid April each year), Kaati Bihu (mid October each year), and Maagh/Bhogali Bihu (mid January each year).

Where: If you're in Assam for Maagh/Bhogali Bihu, time your visit to coincide with the Brahmaputra Beach Festival, organized by the Assam Boat Racing and Rowing Association. This two day event combines culture and adventure sports, including traditional Bihu dances, food, crafts, cultural exhibition, paragliding, boat cruises, canoeing, rafting, and beach volleyball.

Another Assamese festival, organized by the Tourism Department around the time of Maagh/Bhogali Bihu, that's worth catching is the Dehing Patkai Festival. Named after the Dehing river and Patkai range in eastern Assam, it offers something for everyone. Attractions include fairs, tea heritage tours, golfing, adventure sports, hiking and wildlife, and trips to Stilwell Road and World War II cemeteries.

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