Hummmm..... this was one interesting and tiring weekend for me. Yah It was Maghor Bihu and a lot to eat and do as an assamese.
The Magh or the Bhogali Bihu, the harvesting festival is celebrated in January by community feast, buffalo fight and such other entertainment. Magh Bihu is celebrated during second week of January. The eating festival keeps on going all most for a month. How ever the main celebrations are observed in three days.
Day 1: It is the last day of Puh Maah or Poush mash of Hindu Calender. Onthis day, The house is cleaned, all the corp is put in to the Store ( called Bhoral Ghor in assamese) for the coming year.
In a common place of the community or village, a Haroli Ghor and a Meji is build with the help of hay, bamboo etc. The Haroli Ghor is also called Bhela Ghor at some parts of Assam. The symbolization of this is to Make a Common Kithchen and store for the festival. The Young and old togather starts the preperation almost a month prior to make this temporary hut.
Meji is the symbolization of Fire God. It is kept secred. This is made by stacking a lot of fire wood, hay, bamboo etc.
At night the whole community will cook a feast for every one and eat togather to celebrate. The women folks preperae traditional assamese dishes for the coming to days. They are mainly Pitha( Kind of Cake), Sira( Puffed Rice), Doi ( Curd) etc.
Day2: It Falls on MAKAR SANKRANTI. This day starts very early. Every one wakes up and goes for a holly bath and gathers at the Meji. The head of the village / community or some elderly people puts the Meji on fire and every one offers prayer and food to it. Women add the sweets made the previous night to offer to the God through fire. The Haroli Ghor is also burnt the same day. At some places they keep it for another week or so to have one more FEAST.
During the day, traditional food is served. People visit each other. NO Proper full meal is cooked. Woman Clean up their main cooking vassels at the out side cleaning area. This pot is normally not taken out of the main kitchen. At night they cook feast dinner for the family.
Day3: This day is usually for visiting and wishing people well being.
Well, being in hyderabad, what i did was attended a community gathering. Cleaned ( rather washed) my house and cooked whatever possible. It was a nice feeling to be able to do what I did. To keep close to my culture and my land !!! Thats the flip side of an MNC job and being Non Resident Assamese. 9 years really matthers. Hope I will remember what I was taught in my child hood days by my mother and my grannys. Also by BIHU Essays in school.