In recent news, the vibrant festival of Kati Bihu has been celebrated in the state of Assam, India. This unique festival, also known as Kongali Bihu, holds a special place in the hearts of Assamese people and is deeply connected to their agricultural traditions.
What is Kati Bihu?
Kati Bihu is also known as Kongali Bihu, reflecting its association with scarcity and limited food availability during this month.
Meaning of the Names
- Kati: The word “Kati” means “to cut,” signifying the cutting of paddy plants during this time.
- Kongali: “Kongali” translates to “poor,” emphasizing the limited food resources available in this month.
Connection to Agriculture
Kati Bihu is one of the three Bihu festivals celebrated in Assam, with each one closely tied to agricultural cycles:
- Bhogali or Magh Bihu: Observed in January, it’s a harvest festival celebrated with feasting and merriment.
- Rongali or Bohag Bihu: Observed in April, it marks the Assamese New Year and the onset of the agricultural season.
How is Kati Bihu Celebrated?
Kati Bihu is significant as it marks the time for the transplantation of rice saplings from nurseries to the paddy fields, a crucial phase in the agricultural calendar.
- Offering Prayers: During the entire month of Kati, people offer prayers for their family’s well-being and a bountiful harvest.
- Deity: Goddess Tulsi is the focal point of these prayers. copyright©iasexpress.net
- Purpose: These prayers are made with the hope of ensuring a prosperous and healthy life for family members and to seek the blessings of the goddess for a successful harvest.
- Special Lamp – Akash Banti (Sky Candle): A unique tradition associated with Kati Bihu involves lighting a special lamp known as “Akash Banti” in the paddy fields.
- Location: These lamps are placed in the paddy fields.
- Fuel: Mustard oil is used as fuel for these lamps.
- Support: Bamboo poles’ tips are used to support these lamps.
- Belief: It is believed that these lamps guide the souls of ancestors to heaven, ensuring their peaceful journey after death.
Where is Kati Bihu Celebrated?
Kati Bihu is primarily celebrated in the state of Assam, where it holds great cultural and agricultural significance. The festival brings communities together and reinforces the deep-rooted connection between the people of Assam and their agricultural traditions.