Assamese Cultural

Assam culture festivals ! Assam Culture gk

   Assamese culture is a composite one. Assam is rich in both oral as well as classical music from time immemorial. Charyapada is the first example of Assamese classical music which was composed and spread by the Buddhist monks. They are based on ragas and it may be called the inception of raga-based music in the Assamese culture. It is believed that Charyapadas are composed during the period between the 8th and 11th century. Ojapalis too have raga-based songs blended with the peculiar dance form. Then comes the Bargeets composed by Srimanta Sankardeva and his diseiples. They are purely raga-based spiritual songs. Their unique language and solemn nature enhance their acceptability among the followers of the great saint. It is said that Sankardeva composed 120 Bargeets but the holy songs were gutted by wildfires. His favourite disciple, Madhavdeva composed 191 Bargeets. Folk songs reflect the village life vividly. Bihunaam, Biyanaam, etc. are festive-based songs while some ballads reflect some incidents of history. Lullabies, children songs, cowherd songs represent village life in musical forms. In Goalpara area, Kushan gaan is a popular musical and dramatic creation where stories from classics are performed. Dihanaam, Aainaam, Paalnaam, etc. are characterised by their religious angles. Bhaona, various dances including Satriya dance and Bihu dance, various tribal dances performed during

different festivals represent the composite culture of the state. The musical instruments, like dhol, khol, mridanga, dotara, nagara, gagana, taal, khanjari, etc., too have special importance in the Assamese culture.


Various harvest festivals are celebrated in Asam. Most prominent among them are Magh Bihu, Tusu Puja, Pawal Kut, etc.

Magh Bihu: Bihu is the most popular festival of Assam. It is regarded as the national festival of the State. There are three Bihus, namely Bohag Bihu (mid-April), Kaati Bihu (September- October), and Magh Bihu (mid-January). The Magh Bihu is the main harvest festival of Assam. It is celebrated from the last day of the Assamese month Puh. The day before Bihu is called Uruka. On this day every family organise special feasts in their home. Meji and bhelaghars are built using thatch and bamboo prior to Bihu by the cowherds and the bhelaghar is used to have a grand feast on the day of Uruka. The home is burned down after having the feast.

  On the day of Bihu, children take a bath in the early morning and gather near the Meji. Then they light the Meji. It is believed to be a ritual to appease the Fire God (Agni). Every family makes various delicious pithas, larus, sandoh, etc. to offer the guests as the scarcity of the family ends along with the harvest season. People go to neighbours' families and enjoy delicious foods offered to them. The speciality of this Bihu is that every family, irrespective of their economic background, has to collect some food in their granary for the future. That is why this Bihu is called Bhogali Bihu too.

Porag or Norasiga Bihu: This harvest festival is celebrated by the Mising tribe. 1Their harvest season falls in the month of Kaati. After harvesting, they celebrate this Bihu to thank God for a good harvest.

Hassa: The Karbi tribe of Assam celebrates this festival after a good harvest.

Poush Mela and Maghi Mela: The harvest season of Assam lasts for only one month which generallyfalls in the month of Aghon (Agrahayana). The next month is Puh or Poush. In this month, mela or festivals are organised in some areas of lower Assam which are popularly known as Poush Mela. Its basic characteristic is the expression of joy after harvest season. Maghi Mela is organised in the month of Magh. It derives its name from the name of the month. The Bodos celebrate "Domasi during Magh Bihu.

Tusu Puja: Tusu puja is a pious festival celebrated by the Tea tribes of Assam. It is celebrated to thank the Tusu god for a good harvest. Dance and songs are associated with it.