Festivals of Assam

Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam have their roots in the diverse faith and belief of the inhabitants, but a spirit of accommodation and togetherness characterizes the celebration of all festivals. The perfect fusion of heritage of numerous races has made Assam, the home of the most colorful festivals which are passionate, compelling and mesmerizing reflecting the true spirit, tradition and lifestyle of the people of Assam.


Brahmaputra Beach Festival

Held on the beautiful, white riverside beaches of the river Brahmaputra, it is a perfect blend of traditional contests like elephant race, kite flying and modern adventure sports like wind surfing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, para-dropping, hot air ballooning, beach volley ball and beach cricket. This event coincides with Magh Bihu, the Assamese harvest festival.


Dehing Patkai Festival

This festival in eastern Assam derives its name from the lofty Patkai range and the playful Dehing river. It is a heady cocktail of ethnic fairs, golfing, tea heritage tours, adventures sports, wildlife excursion and down-mwmory-lane trips to World War II cemeteries and the Stilwell Road, once the passage to the golden land of Myanmar. It is organized in the month of January every year.



Marking the beginning of agricultural season is Assam's most important festival Bihu. It is celebrated during mid-April with much pomp and gaiety. There are 3 kinds of Bihu festival. Rongali or Bohag Bihu celebrates the coming of spring and the beginning of the sowing season; Kongali or Kati Bihu is the barren bihu festival when the fields are lush but the barns are empty; Bhogali or Magh Bihu is the thanksgiving festival after the crop harvest and the barns are full. The day before the each bihu is known as 'uruka'.



Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, 'Baishagu' is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis during mid April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodo tribe and heralds the New Year. The Bodos also celebrate it as a springtime festival at the advent of the new year.

The first day begins with worship of the cow. The next day which synchronizes with the first day of the month of 'Bohag' of the Assamese almanac, the actual merriment begins with the young people of each household reverentially bowing down to their parents and elders. The supreme deity 'Bathou' or Lord Shiva is worshipped during the festival by offering chicken and rice beer.


Elephant Festival

For conservation and protection of Asiatic elephant, a festival is organized every year at Kaziranga National Park jointly by the Forest Department and Tourism Department, Govt. of Assam. The festival includes many activities by domestic elephants and various cultural programmes.



Ali-ai-ligang is the colourful annual festival of Mishing tribe. It is held on the first Wednesday of the month of 'Ginmur Polo' (February-March). The ceremonial sowing of paddy starts on this day.



Rongker, the most important festival of the Karbis, is celebrated in April to worship various gods and goddesses for the well being of the entire village.



The most important Ahom festival is the Me-Dum-Me-Phi. It is an ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community. This is performed annually on the 31st of January at some common venue. This helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms. It is marked by Colourful processions with devotees in traditional finery.


Rajini Gabra & Hami Gabra

Rajini Gabra-Hami Gabra is an annual festival of Dimasa tribe. This socio-religious festival is celebrated before starting new cultivation.



The Rabha tribe celebrates the Baikho festival during the spring season in order to worship the goddess of wealth ' Baikho'.


Jonbeel Mela

This spectacular fair(mela) is held every year during winter at Jonbeel of Jagiroad, a lesser known township only 32 kms from Guwahati. A few days before the mela, tribes like the Tiwas, Karbis, Khasis, Jaintias from the Meghalaya hills assemble with their various products for this big mela. Before the 'mela' they perform fire worship or agni puja for the well being of mankind. It is to be noted that during this mela, the 'govaraja' or the king of the Tiwa tribe along with his courtiers visit this mela and collect taxes from his subjects. Also these communities perform their traditional dances and music.


Ambubashi Mela

Ambubashi, the most important festival of Kamakhya temple, is celebrated in mid-June every year. Thousands of devotees throng the temple on this auspicious occasion. It is held every year during monsoon (mid-June). It is a ritual of austerities celebrated with 'Tantric rites'. It is a common belief that the reigning diety, 'Kamakhya' , 'The Mother Shakti' goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this period. During Ambubashi the doors of the temple remain closed for three days. It is believed that the earth becomes impure for three days. During this time no farming work is undertaken. Daily worship and other religious performances are suspended during this period. After three days, the temple doors are reopened after the Goddess is bathed and other rituals are performed. It is believed that the mother earth regains her purity now. Ambubachi mela is held at the Kamakhya temple, after three days.


Tea Festival

Celebrated with pomp and show during January February, this festival is all about tea, music and merriment. It marks the world of festivity with traditional hospitality, jungle safaris, tea garden visits, golf, local cuisine, rafting in turbulent rivers, angling, shopping and cultural extravaganza.



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