Festival of harvest Bhogali Bihu and Bhogi being celebrated in different parts of the country today

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2024

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Assam is celebrating the Magh Bihu, the vibrant harvest festival, also known as Bhogali Bihu and Maghor Domahi. It is the first festival of the year that brings people of various communities together to enjoy the winter crops and pray for prosperity for the rest of the year. It is called Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab, and Makar Sankranti in Northern parts of India.

This Bihu is celebrated over two days. During Magh Bihu, people have feasts and light bonfires, starting a day before the main celebration. The day before Magh Bihu is called Uruka or Bihu eve, the last day of the Poush month in the Assamese calendar.

Today is Uruka and as part of the Bihu celebration, people building makeshift cottages called ‘Bhelaghar’ using hay from the harvest fields. People are also constructing Meiji for bonfires. They will prepare food inside these huts, and a community feast to be held on this Uruka night. The Meji will be burned early tomorrow morning and the ashes to be spread on the farmland to make the soil more fertile.

During the main Bihu, people take a bath early in the morning and play traditional Assamese games like Tekeli Bonga and buffalo fighting. There are also cock fights and egg fights. People eat and share the traditional Assamese foods and sweets on this occasion.

Magh Bihu holds agricultural and social significance as it is time to celebrate new yield and renew ties of friendship and brotherhood with communities.

In urban areas, people are purchasing symbolic readymade Mejis for bonfire due lack of open spaces and non-availability of hay.

In Telangana, Makara Sankranti festivities have commenced with people celebrating Bhogi today with traditional fervour and gaiety.

Akashvani correspondent says the three-day post-harvest festival is being celebrated across the State but predominant in rural areas as all segments of society celebrate the festival with much pomp.

The First day of Sankranti festivities began with Bhogi Mantalu, that is, a bonfire lit early this morning. People along with children came out in large numbers to light the bonfire at the street corners and cross roads.

They burnt their old and unused belongings in the fire as a symbol to get rid of the bad vibes and evil. People are inviting the Sankranti Lakshmi, a sign of Prosperity, by decorating their houses traditionally with colourful Rangoli, Mango leaves and marigold flowers.

The three-day festivities are predominant in rural areas across the State as farmers reap their harvest before the festival. Meanwhile, the State Road Transport Corporation and South-Central Railways have been operating hundreds of special services for the past two days to facilitate a large number of people who are travelling to their native villages in the two Telugu States, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and leaders of various sections of society have greeted people on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Traffic came to a standstill at toll plazas on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada national highway yesterday due to the rush of people proceeding to their native places from Hyderabad for the extended holiday for Sankranti on the weekend, the second Saturday and Sunday.

Even though the State-run Road Transport Corporation and South-Central Railway announced additional services to cater to the rush of passengers, many people preferred travelling in their vehicles or buses.

Cashing in on the situation, private travel agencies seem to have charged two thousand rupees for a ticket from Hyderabad to Vijayawada and up to Two thousand five hundred and Three thousand rupees to the Godavari districts and Visakhapatnam.

Hundreds of vehicles plying around led to traffic snarls at the toll plaza at Patangi on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway.

Following the heavy rush, toll plaza officials opened all ten gates for the convenience of drivers and riders.

About 80 thousand vehicles have been commuting through the toll gate per day for the past couple of days, whereas an average of about 30 thousand vehicles pass it normally.

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