A traditional buffalo fight in progress on theoccasion of Bhogali Bihu festival at thehistoric Rupahi Pathar in front of the Ranggharin Sivasagar on Wednesday

by - 9:26 PM

p1-big-02-1.jpgA Buffalo fight on the occasion of the havest festival of Bhogali Bihu, which also marks the end of the harvest season. An organiser of the event, Rohini Borthakur, said they had been organising buffalo fights to spread awareness about Assamese culture, since people hardly celebrate Bihu together. Bihu is the most important festival in Assam and is celebrated thrice a year. In the month of April, it is called Rongali or Bohag Bihu; during October-November it is called Kati Bihu; and in the month of January, when it coincides with the harvest festival Makar Sankranti held in northern and some southern States, it is called Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu. It is celebrated immediately after the winter harvest. The word bhogali originates from the word bhog , which translates to feast, and the festival is essentially one of thanksgiving and merry- making after a good harvest. On Tuesday, villagers brought their buffaloes for the thrilling traditional fight in which the specially reared buffaloes are brought to the ring and then provoked for the duel. In the months preceding the festival, buffaloes are fed with rich fodder and reeds of long grass typical to the State’s marshy land. The fight had come to represent the traditional religious beliefs of the rural region and is awaited by one and all. “We think that this festival will bring a lot of prosperity and happiness for the people of Assam,” added the event organiser. Since centuries, the practice of buffalo fighting has been followed wherein the two animals are made to fight for the honour of an area until one of them is pushed off the field. However, animal lovers have always voiced concerns against such practices, terming it as an example of cruelty to animals. — ANI Cr:

The Hindu

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