Dr. Tapashi Gupta
Bihu is the most popular folk dance of Assam. Bihu dances are performed by young boys and girls during the Bihu festivities which represent youthful passion, reproductive urge, and joy. It is characterized by brisk dance steps and rapid hand movement. Dancers wear traditionally colorful Assamese clothing called Mekhela, Chadar, Dhoti, Gamocha and traditional ornaments.
The word Bihu is taken from the Sanskrit word Bishu meaning “to ask blessings and prosperity from the Gods” during harvesting season. On Bihu, farmers and people offer their prayers and gratitude to God for the prosperous harvest. The Bihu festival is being celebrated in Assam from ancient times.
On Bihu, farmers and people offer their prayers and gratitude to God for the prosperous harvest. Bihu is the “National Festival of Assam”. It is the festival of harvest.
According to the history of Assam, the first-ever Bihu dance was performed in 1694.
There are three types of Bihu:
Bohaag (Baisakh)Bihu (mid of April)
Maagh Bihu- in mid of January
Kaati Bihu- Kartik (mid of October)
The Bohaag Bihu marks a new year at the beginning of seeding time. Also called Rongaali Bihu.
The Kaati Bihu marks the completion of sowing and transplanting of paddies. Also called Kongaali Bihu or the festival of the poor.
The Magh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting period. Also known as Bhogaali Bihu, the festival of foods.
Bohaag Bihu comes in a time of great enjoyment. It marks the arrival of Spring. The folk songs performed are Bihu songs or Bihugeets. The Bohaag Bihu lasts for several days during which the youngsters in a village can be dancing in groups dressed joyfully, or they can be seen dancing around the girls in a circle. Such gatherings arecalled Mukoli Bihus. Bihu Sanmelan is very famous function or gathering of bihu artists in all over North East India.
The Rongali Bihu coincides with Punjabi New Year Baisakhi. The Bohag Bihu dates are April 15 to April 21. It is a harvest or sowing festival. On Rongali Bihu, Assamese visit their friends and families and celebrate it with feasts, music and dancing. They also hang brass, copper or silver pots on poles in front of their house. Children are seen with flower garlands and wish everyone in their neighbourhood a happy new year. Bohag Bihu marks the first day of the Hindu solar calendar and is also observed in Bengal, Manipur, Mithila, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab, Kerala.
The Bihu dance is an indigenous folk dance from the state of Assam in India related to the this festival an important part of Assamese culture, Performed in a group, the Bihu dancers are usually young men and women, and the dancing style is characterized by brisk steps, and rapid hand movements. The traditional costume of dancers is colorful and centred round the red colour theme, signifying joy and vigour.
Dancers wear Assamese traditional attire. Dance is performed by young men and women.
Bihu which is celebrated in the month of April marks the spring. Songs sung on this Bihu depict the themes of love and erotic tone. People wear traditional attires like Dhoti, Gamocha and Chadar, Mekhala.
Bihu Dance has become the identity of the northeastern state. The ethnic groups Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Moran, Borahis, etc consider Bihu an integral part of their culture.
Achievement of Bihu Dance
The dance form has got immensely popular in different parts of the world. It was a proud moment for the state when professional Bihu dancers performed at the London Olympics in 2012.Tapashi GuptaFollow