HANDLOOMS AND HANDICRAFTS
Celebrating our farming communities for their benevolence and harvesting nature’s bounty in abundance
The night before Magh Bihu is called Uruka, it is the night of feasts. Villagers make bamboo huts called “Bhelaghor”, or community kitchen and begin the preparations. Various dishes, vegetables, meat items and sweets such as Pitha, Laru are made out of sesame, molasses and coconut are prepared. The next morning, the community gathers to light the Meji, a large bon fire and pray for a better harvest in the year ahead. Offerings are made to the sacred fire and people later indulge in traditional Jolpan breakfast. Indigenous games such as Dhop Khel, Pot breaking, Egg fights and Buffalo fighting can be also a part of the celebrations. Community fishing by the tribes in the large wetlands can be also seen.
Like all other Bihu, Magh Bihu also has the ritual of showing respect to the elders with Gamosa.
The festival also marks Makr Sankranti, or the transit of the sun towards the Tropic of Cancer. Many other communities across India also celebrate the same occasion as it marks the end of winter and the beginning of longer days.
Come be a part of the most colourful spring festival of the Mishing community, “Ali-Ai-Ligang” held every year on the first Wednesday of the month of Ginmur Polo (February-March) in the Mishing calendar. It is held to appease mother earth and the forefathers of the Mishing and to mark the new sowing season. Ali means root or seed and ai means fruit and ligang means sow and the heads of families ceremonially sow paddy in a corner of their respective rice fields in the morning hours and pray for a good crop during the year as well as for general abundance and well-being on this day.