Guwahati: Assam on Saturday celebrated its
traditional harvest festival Bhogali or Magh Bihu on Makar
Sankranti with the burning of `Mejis` and praying to the
god of fire not to unleash wrath during the summer.
With the granaries full, celebrations for this agrarian
festival began last night on Uruka when community feasts were
arranged by the people preparing local delicacies of fish and
meat inside the Mejis erected by them with bamboo, wood,
leaves and hay.
As the name Bhogali suggests feasting, this Bihu is a
celebration of food after a good harvest and a variety of
sweets are prepared from rice, coconut, til (sessame) and
In a spirit of brotherhood irrespective of religion the
people from all communities in the village together build the
Mejis days ahead of Bihu, and even have competions which
village would have the tallest one.
At the crack of dawn today the Mejis, also known as
Bhelaghars in some areas, were set ablaze to the chanting of
prayers appealing Agni Devta (god of fire) to cause no
destructions with fire during Posoowa (coming dry months).
Respects were also paid to the elders with gamochas
(traditional scarf) and greetings exchanged among relatives
and friends with the partaking of sweetmeats as Pithas made
with the sticky `bora` rice peculiar to this area.