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Enjoyment and feasting,
Building the Bhelaghar,
Pranks with the neighbour.
The morning after,
Obeisance to the God of fire,
Burning the tall Meji,
Made of bamboo and paddy.
Sunga pitha, kaath aloo,
Customary delights of Magh Bihu,
With friends and families,
Flavours of Assamese delicacies.
Geetima Baruah Sarma
Short note: Bhogali Bihu is a harvest festival of Assam, a state of north-east India. The festival is celebrated in mid-January, marking the end of the harvest season. Bhogali means feasting and enjoyment. It is also known as Magh Bihu as celebrations are held in the month of Magh, the tenth month of the Assamese calendar. On the eve known as Uruka, people gather for a community feast with friends and families. A variety of dishes that include meat and fish are cooked over wood flame. Using bamboo and paddy, a temporary hut called Bhelaghar and a tall structure known as Meji are built. Merriment continues throughout the night as youths play pranks like stealing vegetables from the neighbour’s garden. Next morning, offerings are made to the God of fire and people enjoy the traditional delicacies like sunga pitha, kaath aloo etc.
From heavy laden trees
Oranges, yellows and greens
Leave purple juices on the leaves
By Rachel Jeffreys (http://racheljeffreys.wordpress.com)
Thank you for the vegetables,
That helps the body to survive,
That nourishes our very being,
To keep us all alive.
Thank you for the conditions,
The wind, the rain and storm,
Thank you for the sunshine,
That ripens the fields of corn.
Bless all the harvest,
Those graces our table fare,
Abundance of glorious food,
A feast for all to share.
So as we celebrate Harvest Festival,
Let us think of those in need,
Send your thoughts out to the starving,
That all of them may feed.
Help us share your treasure,
To those that are starving today,
Give them strength and nourishment,
To soothe their pains away.
If through your love and understanding,
We conquer famine decay and despair,
Then Father we have learnt our lesson,
For through you we have learnt to share.
Malcolm G Bradshaw