Magh Bihu – Uruka and Bhogali Bihu in Assam

Bhogali Bihu, also known as Magh Bihu, is an important harvest festival of Assam and is observed in the Assamese month of Magh (January - February). In 2014, the date of Magh Bihu is January 15. Uruka is on January 14. ‘Bhogali’ means ‘feasting’ in Assamese and Magh Bihu is a two-day festival. The festival is dedicated to Lord Agni, the Hindu fire god.

The first day of the Magh Bihu festival is known as Uruka. On this day, people construct mejis (mezi) or bhelaghars with bamboo and wood pieces on the farmland or open spaces. A feast is held on the Uruka night, which includes fish delicacies.

The next day is the Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu day and the mejis (mezi) and bhelghars built on Uruka day are lit and a lavish feast is held. The ashes of the meji are scattered on the farmlands to increase fertility. Magh Bihu is observed on the first day of the Magh month of Assamese calendar.

On Magh Bihu day, people visit their relatives and share Assamese food like pithas (sweet rice cake), chira (rice flakes), chunga pitha (rice cake in bamboo tubes), and different types of other sweets.

Buffalo fights are organized during Bhogali Bihu in rural Assam.