Guwahati: The lilting beats of drums, cymbals, and the mellifluous notes of the bamboo flute, accompanied by the graceful gyrations of Bihu dancers -- the spectacle is being staged across the hills and dales of Assam as the people herald the New Year or Rongali Bihu first day celebrations on Thursday.
The Assamese New Year begins on Friday. Hundreds of people thronged Bihu pandals across the state with dancers in their traditional fineries performing Bihu dances to the beat of dhols or the traditional drums and lilting notes of flutes made of bamboo and buffalo horns.
"Bihu is the time for rejoicing and merry-making, and let us all hope the New Year brings in good luck and ushers in peace to the state," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told a news agency at a community Bihu celebration here.
As the Bihu season unfolds, it is boom time for hundreds of artistes in Assam who set out with vigour to entertain audiences across the state with songs and other forms of recreation.
The stage shows in Assam during the Bihu season are something that people generally look forward to - away from politics and insurgency related violence.
"The mood is one of festivity and now everybody wants to forget about politics and insurgency. We want to break free," said a group of college students attired in traditional dresses at one of the Bihu functions in the city.
Singers and musicians are working extra hard to keep up with various community cultural shows organised across Assam.
"It is great fun performing live before thousands of people. I have composed some new numbers for the people of Assam on the occasion of Bihu," said Zubeen Garg, well-known singer of "Ya Ali" fame, the song from Bollywood film "Gangster".
The underlying theme for the celebrations this year is "peace and brotherhood".
"We want an end to all forms of violence and let there be permanent peace in the state," All Assam Students` Union (AASU) advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said after inaugurating a community Bihu in the city.