Goru Bihu - The first day of Assamese New Year

Goru Bihu is the first day of the Rongali or Bohag Bihu celebrations, which is the Assamese New Year. Goru Bihu 2017 date is April 14. It is observed on the last day of the Chaitra or Chot month and is dedicated to cattle and other domesticated animals. Goru Bihu is popularly known as the festival of cow.

On the Goru bihu day, the cows are rubbed with a paste of Matikalai (a kind of local pulse), mustard and turmeric and are given a proper washing in the ponds.

Pieces of gourd, brinjal, turmeric and bitter-gourd are thrown at the cattle. While throwing the vegetables at the cow, people say – Eat gourd, eat brinjal, Grow from year to year, Your mother is small, Your father is small, May you be a large one.

Then, the cows are fed with fresh vegetables and rice cakes. The animal is then thoroughly cleaned using ‘Dighalati leaves’ – a plant with medicinal value.

In the evening, the cows are tied using new ropes. The cowshed is thoroughly cleaned and is smoked with incense to remove all pests. Cows are vital to the agrarian economy and rural life of Assam.
People start the preparation for Bohag Bihu or Manuh Bihu on the day of Goru Bihu. Women apply mehandi on their hands and feet on this day.

The next day is the first day of Bohag Month and is observed as Rongali or Bohag Bihu – the Assamese New Year.