People of Assam celebrate the much-awaited Rongali or Bohag Bihu with traditional fervour and gaiety. The festivities have formally begun with ‘Goru Bihu’ today when people took their cattle to ponds, rivers and other water bodies for the customary bath, smearing them with ‘maah-halodhi’. After the customary bath, the cattle were tied with new ropes and whipped lightly with ‘Dighloti and Makhioti’ twigs as per the customary rituals.

Womenfolk, meanwhile, are busy preparing ‘pithas’, ‘larus’ and other Bihu delicacies while in towns and cities, packaged Bihu items have flooded markets.

The sounds of the ‘dhol’, ‘pepa’ and ‘gogona’ have been reverberating in the air as bihu ‘Husori’ troupes are rehearsing for their door-to-door performances. Singers and artistes, too, are making last-minute rehearsals for stage performances.

Manuh Bihu will be celebrated on Sunday, the first day of the month of Bohag. People will wake up and take a bath, smearing themselves with ‘maah-halodhi’, adorn new clothes and seek blessings from their elders. A sumptuous ‘jalpan’, a light breakfast with sticky rice savoured along with curd and jiggery, follows next. Various programmes that also include traditional games are also held in various places.

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