On October 18, Kati Bihu is celebrated by the Assamese people, and in honor of this, a festival is held, marking the beginning of the harvest. In addition, this Indian holiday is a strict observance of penance and service, celebrated in India throughout the state of Assam. The celebration is accompanied by special Assamese rituals, when lamps are lit near the houses and a bamboo path is laid for the ancestors.
Kati Bihu is one of the three most important holidays for the Assamese people. The other two are Bhogali Bihu and Rongali Bihu. On the occasion of the celebration in clay lamps near the houses, people light a fire, and this tradition goes back to ancient rituals when lanterns were lit along the rice field. Fire and light attracted insects to them, killing them, and, therefore, this ritual was also a natural insecticide. This holiday is above religion, social status or caste, because on this day people from all walks of life come together to observe the tradition.
- meat dishes are served in Assamese families on the occasion of the holiday: the northern part of the people prefer to treat them with duck meat, and the southerners honor guests with pigeon meat;
- Assamese give each of the guests a “gamos” – a traditional gift, which is a towel made by hand;
- clay lamps “Saaks” are also lit around the sacred plant Tulsi, thereby emphasizing its significance for every family;
- the celebration usually ends with a bihu dance that demonstrates the unity of the communities.
How to celebrate
On the day of the celebration, a traditional Assamese clay lamp should be lit, and the lit lamp should be placed on the Tulsi plant. At the same time, prayers are offered to the goddess Tulsi, who should take care of a good harvest and the well-being of the family. The lamp in this case means an unquenchable flame of hope, and it must be lit during the entire month of celebration. Also, for the holiday, you can try to learn the traditional bihu dance, which is an integral part of the culture of the inhabitants of Assam.
When is Kati Bihu celebrated in 2022?
Kati Bihu is celebrated on the first day of the ‘Kati’ month in the Assamese calendar.