Bihu is a festival celebrated in Assam. There are basically three types of Bihu - Rongali Bihu or Bohaag Bihu, Kati Bihu or Kongaali Bihu and Magh Bihu or Bhogaali Bihu.
The Bihu festival signifies a celebration of farming, especially paddy. For example, Rongaali Bihu marks the beginning of sowing of seeds, the Kati Bihu marks the completion of sowing and transplantation of the saplings and finally Magh Bihu marks the advent of the harvest period.
Of the three Bihus, Rongaali Bihu is the most important and is celebrated in the month of April, marking the beginning of Assamese New Year. This festival coincides with the advent of the spring season and people celebrate it by indulging in the traditional Bihu dance and singing Bihu songs. The folk songs associated with Rongaali Bihu symbolize love and romance among the village youth and the dames. The Bihu dance is accompanied with traditional Assamese instruments like the Dhol, Pepa, Gagana, Toka .
Initially Bihu dances used to take place in village fields or courtyards, where the youth used to go from house to house singing Bihu songs, trying to woo their loved ones. But today, the celebrations have taken a modern turn and often these dances are now held formally in community halls, where people gather to witness Bihu celebrations.
Kati Bihu is a quieter form of Bihu which is held in the middle of October. During this event, earthen lamps (diyas) are lit in the paddy fields and prayers are offered for the success of the crops.
Bhogaali Bihu is celebrated in January, that is immediately after the paddy has been harvested. This Bihu is marked by a feast held at night in temporary huts that have been erected especially for this purpose. People also greet relatives and friends to convey and exchange Bihu greetings. Traditional snacks are also exchanged on a large scale during this Bihu.