Guwahati: Traditional songs, dances and merrymaking marked the first day of the Assamese new year and the second of Rongali Bihu across the state of Assam Saturday.
In Assam, Rongali Bihu starts on the last day of the `Chot` (the month of Chaitra) month - which fell Friday. The first day of Bihu was basically dedicated to the cattle and is celebrated as `Goru Bihu` -- the cattle are given ceremonial bath in rivers and ponds, tied with new halter ropes, rubbed with turmeric paste and worshipped.
The real celebration of Rongali Bihu starts from the second day, which is the first day of the Assamese new year starting with the month of `Bohag`.
People wear new clothes and the younger ones seek blessings from the elders so that the year brings them prosperity, good health and good luck.
Large number of people were seen coming out to take part in traditional songs and dances of Bihu Saturday.
In many places, traditional games were also organised to celebrate this most colourful festival of the Assamese people with all age groups taking part in the funfair.
Assam Governor J.B. Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also greeted the people on the occasion of Rongali Bihu.
"I am sure that this festival will be celebrated in the spirit of friendship and brotherhood promoting a feeling of fraternity among all communities," said Patnaik in his message to the people of the state.
Chief Minister Gogoi, who participated in several Bihu functions in Guwahati along with his wife Dolly and son Gaurav, hoped that the festival would foster goodwill and strengthen the age-old bonds between various communities in the state.