Sunday, October 18, 2015

Celebrating Kati Bihu



No paddy field to lit ‘Aakakh Banti’ (Sky candle) here, but just tried to keep the culture somehow…, celebrating ‘Kati Bihu’ today.

Nostalgic enough!!!!…..What were those days, when we all kids were so excited to set new Tulsi plants in our aangans and clean the roots of the existing plants. Create new muddy space – specially designed earth platform (Tulsi Bheti), or put some tall bamboo stands to lit up the lamps high in the paddy fields. Cut the raw papayas into two pieces, each to make diyas, apart from the earthen ones.

When the sun went down in the western horizon, all used to become busy to lit the lamp under the Tulsi plant, in the boundary gates, inside the kitchen, in the ‘Bhoral’ (paddy storage room) and in the paddy fields.

Once we lit the diyas, we used to do our prayers in front of the Tulsi plant. The rhythm is still resonating in my ears :
“Tulakhir Tole Tole Mriga Pahu sare, 
Taake Dekhi Ramchandrai Hara dhonu dhare…..”


Once the prayers were over at our own house, we used to eat the Prasad…and proceed to others’ house to join the prayers and have the Prasad again……

What a divine ambiance it used to create……!!!




What is the significance of Kati Bihu?

Like Bohag Bihu and Bhugali Bihu, Kati Bihu is also closely related to agriculture. Kati Bihu is celebrated on the first day 'Kati' month in Assamese calendar. It is called ‘Kongali Bihu’ too, and 'Kongal' stands for 'Poor'. So, why it is called Kongali Bihu?  This time of the year witnesses emptiness in the granaries of the hard working cultivators. The paddy grows in the fields and cultivators work hard and eagerly wait for a good harvest.


In the evening, people lit lamps in front of the Tulsi plant. It’s because, the Tulsi plant not only carries medicinal values, but also it is supposed to be very auspicious in Hinduism.

Secondly , in the paddy fields, lamps are lit up high on the tips of tall bamboo stands to worship God for the good health of the crops. Scientifically these lamps used to attract insects of the paddy fields and they fall prey into the fire of these lamps. This helps the crops to be healthy and free from insects. 



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