Bihu or Bohag Bihu is the most important festival of the people of Assam. It is a festival that transcends all religious and class barriers bringing people together in a free and uninhabited manner. The Assamese observe not one but three Bihus.
The word Bihu is derived from the Dimasa kachari language. The tribe Dimasa kachari lived in Assam since ancient time.
Assam being a land of composite culture reflects a chain of festivals of different tribes throughout the year. Bihu is the most important festivals of Assam, celebrated with fun and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief. The breathtaking hills and valleys of Assam come alive with the sound of Bihu thrice a year. viz. Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu in April, Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in January and Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu in October/ November.
The Bihu festival signifies a celebration of farming, especially paddy. For example, Rongali Bihu marks the beginning of sowing of seeds, the Kati Bihu marks the completion of sowing and transplantation of the saplings and finally Magh Bihu marks the advent of the harvest period.
Bohag Bihu, is celebrated in mid-April, the Magh Bihu, held in mid-January, and the Kati Bihu is celebrated in mid-October. The three are connected with the spring, winter and autumn seasons respectively.
Bihu is the biggest festival of the people of the Assam region. This is truly a regional festival, which brings a sense of solidarity and unity among the people of the Assam region. It comes thrice a year and marks the changes in the seasons.