Kati Bihu, also known as Kongali Bihu, is an important Assamese holiday held in the northeastern state of Assam. It is observed on the first day of the ‘Kati’ month, which is usually in the middle of October. Kati Bihu 2023 is observed on October 18th and celebrates the commencement of the rice crop’s development and the beginning of the new harvest season. This page delves into Kati Bihu’s history, customs, and significance.
Kati Bihu 2023
The event starts with the washing and installation of a sacred plant, generally Tulsi, on an earthen platform called “Tulsi Bheti.” Families pray to Goddess Tulsi and give offerings to her for their family’s well-being and a fruitful crop. This practice will continue throughout Kati. Lamps and candles provide a spiritual environment by illuminating various areas of the residence, particularly around the venerated Tulsi plant.
History of Kati Bihu
Kati Bihu is a sombre holiday centered on the month’s limits and reflection on the previous year. It marks the beginning of the planting season in Assam. The empty granaries and rising rice fields represent scarcity at the period, garnering it the moniker “Poor” or “Kongali.”
Importance of Kati Bihu 2023
Kati Bihu, together with Bhogali Bihu and Rongali Bihu, is one of Assam’s three major festivals. It reconnects individuals with their agricultural heritage and highlights the significance of the harvest. Lighting traditional lamps and adorning the Tulsi plant with lights and garlands is reminiscent of old practices in which these lights functioned as natural insecticides for the crops.
Kati Bihu Celebrations 2023
- Light a Lamp: In honor of Goddess Tulsi, traditional clay lamps are lit, symbolizing hope, manifestation, and family well-being.
- Bihu Dance Instruction: Participate in the festivities by learning an Assamese traditional dance, which is not only culturally enlightening but also a wonderful exercise.
- Before you eat, say the following prayer: Express your appreciation for the food on your plate as well as the farmers who grow it. Kati Bihu is centered on rice harvesting, with prayers blessing the earth and anticipating a bountiful crop.
Bihu Rituals and Traditions The Kati Festival
- Northern Assam prefers duck meat, whereas pigeon meat is popular in the southern districts on rainy days.
- Visitors visiting Assamese houses are given a “gamosa,” which is a hand-made towel.
- The Tri-Holiday Celebration: The three Assamese Bihu festivals are Rongali Bihu, Bhogali Bihu, and Kati Bihu.
- The Tulsi Touch: Earthen lights known as Saaki are lighted around the venerated Tulsi plant to emphasize its importance.
- The Dance of Persistence: The day finishes with the Assamese traditional dance known as Bihu, which symbolizes communal solidarity even when there is no reason to celebrate.