Which folk dance form is named after the most important festival of Assam and celebrated thrice every year?

The Assamese celebrate Bihu thrice a year, which signify the distinct cycles of farming – Bhogali/Magh Bihu (January), Bohag/Rongali Bihu (April), and Kongali Bihu (October).

On the day of Bohag Bihu, various delicacies like Mangsho, Chira and Pitha are made. Women, men and children are seen singing, feasting, exchanging gifts, seeking blessings from elders, wearing new clothes, and performing the traditional Bihu dance on this day.

Bihu is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vishu’. It not only marks the beginning of the New Year but also signifies the beginning of the harvest season in Assam. The festivities of Bihu are spread over a period of seven days and each day is devoted to a special custom. Largely, the festival revolves around the preparation of special food items and celebrations that include the famous Bihu dance, which is a local form of dance.

The first of the seven days of Rongaali Bihu is known as the Goru Bihu and involves giving the cattle a bath while using soaps and herbs that are considered auspicious. The ritual is accompanied by a folk song.

The following day is considered the most important day of Bohaag Bihu and commences the New Year. Special respect is paid to the elders of the family by giving them a towel called the Gamosa. This is one of the most important rituals and the towel is worn on the head and body. The Gamosa is a symbol of the highest respect in the Assamese community.


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