Festivals of Assam

A beautiful state with amazing diversity, Assam holds an astonishing range of cultures and landscapes in the north eastern region of India. Due to absorption of ethno cultural groups during the earlier times, the Assamese culture has become a hybrid culture. One can find local elements as well as the Sanskritised forms of local elements in the state.

The rich traditions of the past as well as present, the modern culture in the state of Assam is, hugely influenced by events and cultures of the Post British and British era. American Baptist missionaries along with local pundits played a pivotal role in standardising the language of the state. The Assamese culture is considered to one of the richest and developing cultural system along with its sub systems or sister entities, such as Bodo, Karbi and MIshing. Interestingly, many source cultures of Assam are actually exiting as sister entities or sub systems.

The common and most unique and attractive cultural traits of the Assamese is their inclination towards showing respect for areca nut and betel leaves as well as traditional silk garments. Mekhela Chador is the traditional dress of the Assamese women. Bamboo culture is a very common trait too in the state of Assam.

The state of Assam being a place of composite cultures brings forth many festivals followed by different tribes of the state, round the year. Inhabitants from various parts of the state come together and enjoy these festivals thoroughly. A chain of such colourful festivals in Assam, showcases a perfect fusion of tribes, sub tribes and their heritage. The festivals truly reflect the passion, true spirit, lifestyle and tradition of the people of Assam which is absolutely mesmerizing and compelling.

The festivals in Assam are celebrated in a communal way, either in an open space or a Namghar. Profuse use of banana leaves and bamboo sticks are done. The people of Assam prefer to serve nutritious food items like fruits and sprouted grams, instead of cooked food during their worship. The major festival of Assam is Bihu, and it is celebrated thrice in different forms and at different times of the year.

Popular Festivals of Assam


  1. Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu is one the major festivals of Assam celebrated during mid April. This form of Bihu is the most popular and it celebrated in honour of the onset of the Assamese New Year, which comes around the 15th of April. The name of the festival comes from the name of the fisrt month of the Assamese calendar which is Bohag. Rongali indicates the happiness and celebrations. This festival is celebrated throughout the month. The celebrations are also marked by special Bihu delicacies like Chira, Pitha etc. prepared by the womenfolk in the evening.
  2. Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is a harvest festival and it marks the end of the season of harvesting. The major attraction of this festival that is celebrated in the month January or February is to eat and enjoy. The feasting and eating during this Bihu lasts for almost a week. Women prepare for this Bihu for many days by cooking various snacks and sweets. Some parts of the Assam organize Buffalo Fight as a part of this festival.
  3. Kanti or Kangali Bihu celebrations are also related to agriculture. The first day of the Kati month according to Assamese calendar is celebrated with this festival, which comes during the month of October or November. The celebrations take place by lighting lamps in the evening at various places. People pray and worship to please Goddess Lakshmi to welcome the Goddess to their homes. A special kind of light called Akash Bati or Sky Candle is lit up high on the tips of tall bamboo sticks in the paddy fields, while praying for the wellbeing of the crops.

Karam Puja

This is another important festival, especially popular among the tea tribe communities of the state of Assam. The festival is celebrated during the mid of August, which is the night of Bhado Ekadashi according to the Assamese calendar. This too is an agricultural festival and is celebrated to please the God of Karam to bless the people of Assam with an abundance of crops and safeguard from the evil.

Rongker and Chomangkan

Rongker festival is celebrated among the Kabris during the month of April, and is an important springtime festival. Kabris are an important ethnic group is areas of Assam. They celebrate this festival to keep natural calamities and diseases at bay, as well as to be blessed by good yield of crops.

Chomangkan is also a major festival of the Kabris and is dedicated to the dead praying for eternal peace of the deceased.


A major festival of the Bodos, Baishagu is celebrated with great enthusiasm during the middle of the April month. Bodos are the largest schedule cast tribe of Assam. The festival is devoted to Bathou or Lord Shiva, who is worshipped with chicken and zou or rice beer.

Jonbeel Mela

This is an extremely attractive and unique festival of Assam. This festival brings the barter system to life again. This is community fair which takes place over 3 days during the middle of the month of January. The fair is held at a historic place named Dayang Belguri at Jonbeel.

Majuli Festival

The banks of the River Luit in Majuli are home to the Majuli Festival of Assam that starts in the month of November and continue for almost four days.

Assam Tea Festival

Held in several parts throughout the state, the Assam tea festival is organized by Assam Tourism. The festivities and events that take place in Jorhat during this festival are the most popular. The Assam tea festival flaunts the speciality of the tea of Assam which has gained immense popularity worldwide.

Kaziranga Elephant Festival

This is a popular elephant festival and attracts a lot of crowd and is an unique festival that is held every year.

Ali Aye Ligang

A major festival of the Mishing community, the Ali Aye Ligang festival starts from the middle of the month of February, more specifically on the first Wednesday of Phagun.

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