Kati Bihu


Towards the end of Aahin ( sixth month of the Assamese calendar) month the farmers labour brings forth the golden glow on the ripe grain. In the month of Kaati (seventh month of the Assamese calendar) following Aahin, the farmer gets ready to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is done by lighting chakis (earthen lamps) under the Tulsi (black basil) plant. Kaati Bihu is the time when the granary is empty hence lending the name Kangali Bihu (The poor Bihu). The granary is also adorned with an earthen lamp so as to auger a full granary throughout the coming months. Kati Bihu marks the completion of sowing of paddy and transplantation of the saplings (Kothia).

The significance of this Bihu is more in the villages, where farmers go to their respective fields and light "Akash-Banti" or 'sky-lamp' hanging from a tall bamboo, to ward off pests and other insects. There is a belief that this is done to ease the departed one's soul to the other world. This 'earthen lamp' is also called Askash Banti. In the evening, earthen lamps are lit and placed near the basil and banana plants, granary, the backyard and the fields. Prayers are also offered at these places to protect the seedlings from any damage or danger and also for a good crop. After this ceremonial lighting of lamps, people visit each other’s homes and exchange greetings and sweets.

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