10 festivals of Assam

10 festivals of Assam

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-03-06

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Ali-Aye-Ligang: This festival initiating cultivation is celebrated in February-March by the Mishing tribe. Fish is a must for the fetching though fishing and other activities such as felling, ploughing and burning forests are considered taboo. The festival also entails dancing by the youth.

Langkhun: This Tiwa festival entails worshiping of bamboo over four days variably between October and December. The Tiwas also celebrate Sagra-mi-sawa, a springtime festival marked by erotic songs and dances.

Rajini Gerba & Horni Gerba: These are religious traditions of the Dimasa tribe prior to starting new cultivation. Rajini Gerba is the ritual of closing the village gate on the day of worshiping while Horni Gerba is the puja that night for protection and prosperity. Anyone who enters the village after the gate is closed has to bear the expense of restarting the festival.

Rongker & Chomangkan: Rongker is the Karbi tribal springtime festival celebrated to keep diseases, natural calamities away and pray for good harvest. Chomangkan is an elaborate death ceremony without fixed time.

Me-Dum-Me-Phi: Colorful processions in traditional finery mark this Ahom festival performed annually on January 31 to worship Chao Phi or ancestors. The worship is offered through an octagonal Ho-Phi, constructed temporarily with bamboo sticks and thatch.

Shivaratri: Shiva has a very strong presence in Assam, so much so that a district- Sivasagar - carries His name. Maha Shivaratri, held annually on the 13th night of Magh (month in the Hindu calendar), is thus among the biggest festivals in the state, almost matching Bihu and Durga Puja in terms of participation.

Ambubachi Mela: The most important annual festival at Kamakhya Temple during monsoon (mid-June), it is marked by Tantric rites. The festival coincides with the annual cycle of menstruation that Mother Shakti is believed to undergo. The fair is on the final day when the temple doors reopen after three days.

Doul: Commonly known as Holi and celebrated across India, Doulutsav is marked by smearing each other with abir or faku (colored natural powder) though red, signifying springtime fertility of the earth and renewal of life, is predominant. The feistiest of Dol is celebrated at Barpetra Satra in western Assam's Barpeta town.

Jonbeel Mela: Observed from the first Wednesday after Magh or Bhogali Bihu, this age-old fair is held beside a beel or wetland at Jagiroad, 65km east of Guwahati. Presided over by a Tiwa tribal king, the fair is a convergence of diverse communities often carrying out barter trade. It is the place to be for exotic herbs and edibles.

Tea festival: Organized in November, this festival entails visits to Guwahati Tea Auction Center, tea estates, golfing and river cruises. It also showcases Jhumur dance of the Adivasi tea plantation workers and their exotic festivals such as Tusu Puja and Karam Puja.


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