Will and Kate in Assam

Photograph Courtesy: Gettyimages

In Assam, Rongali Bihu, which is the start of Assamese New Year, is the most important festival. The festival also marks onset of spring season. The entire state celebrate this festival with great excitement irrespective of their caste or religion. Rongali Bihu unites people of Assam. This year Rongali Bihu falls on April 14. And the Duchess and Prince’s visit has taken the celebration to another level. Also Read - Coronavirus: Biggest Single-Day Jump of 8,380 Cases Takes India's Tally Beyond 1.82 Lakh; Death Toll Crosses 5,000 | Key Points



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Will and Kate in Assam

Photograph Courtesy: Gettyimages



The royal couple attended the Bihu festival celebration at Diphlu River Lodge and were enthralled by dancers performing the traditional folk dance, Bihu. The couple were specially charmed by a three-year-old boy energetically dancing to the beats of the drum. While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue with their tour, here are some facts about Bihu festival. Also Read - Javelin Ace Neeraj Chopra Recommended For Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna by AFI, PT Usha Nominated for Dronacharya

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 1. Three Bihu festivals are celebrated in a year

Bihu dance

Photograph Courtesy: Rita Willaert/Creative Commons

Yes, the festival is celebrated thric in a year. The first one is called Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu, the second one is known as Kongali Bihu and the last one is Bhogali Bihu. Rongali Bihu, which is celebrated in April, marks the start of the New Year. Kongali Bihu is celebrated in October/November and it symbolizes completion of sowing phase of paddy crops. Bhogali Bihu symbolizes the end of harvesting phase and it is celebrated in January.

2. First day of the festival is dedicated to Goru

The first day of Rongali Bihu celebration is dedicated to livestock and cattle (Goru). The cattle are given special bath and are decorated with flower garlaned. Horns of the animal is painted in different colors.

3. During Bihu, traditional food is pitha

Assamese Pitha

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Special rice cakes, pitha, are made during the Bihu festival. Different types of pithas are prepared across the state along with another dish called Jolpan.

4. The celebration starts with traditional dance and song

Bihu

Photograph Courtesy: Rita Willaert/Creative Commons

The Bihu celebration begins with traditional folk dance called Bihu and religious songs, which are known as Husori. The singing is accompanies with orchestra, which includes pépa (buffalo hornpipe) and dhol.

5. People dress up in their traditional attire for the festival

Traditional dress

Photograph Courtesy: Diganta Talukdar/Creative Commons

During this day, women wear traditional Assamese saree, Mekhela Chador, and males wear Gamosa, Dhoti and Chador. Assamese people also follow the tradition of presenting Gamosa to welcome guests.

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