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Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. The colorful festivals of Assam reflect the true spirit, tradition and lifestyle of the people of Assam. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam have their roots in the diverse faith and belief of the people, but a spirit of accommodation and togetherness characterizes the celebration of all festivals. Some of the major festivals which are celebrated in Assam are Bihu, Majuli Festival, Baishagu, Elephant Festival, Brahmaputra Beach Festival, Dehing Patkai Festival, Rongali Utsav, Bohaggiyo Bishu, Ambubashi and Jonbill fair. The tribes of Assam have their own colourful festivals like the Kherai Puja of the Bodos, the Rangi Gobra and Harni Gobra of Dimasas, the Baikhu and Pharkantis of the Rabhas, Ali-ai-ligang and Parag of the Mishing tribe, the Sagra-misawa wansawa and laghun of the Tiwas and Bohagiya visu of the Deoris. Me-Dum-Me-Phi is the ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community.

Bihu Festival

Bihu is one of the most important national festival of Assam which is celebrated by all the people and tribes of Assam. There are three Bihu festivals in Assam, which are celebrated in the month of 'Bohaag' (mid April), 'Maagh' (mid January), and 'Kaati' (mid October) and known as Bohaag Bihu, Maagh Bihu and Kati Bihu. The Bohag Bihu, also known as Rangali Bihu or the Festival of Merriment is the main Bihu festival which is celebrated as the Assamese New Year, in the middle of April, and is celebrated with distinctive Bihu dances and songs.

Bihu Festival, Assam

This festival is enjoyed very much, and marks the arrival of spring season. The "Kaati Bihu", also called as "Kongaali Bihu" or the Festival of the Poor, marks the completion of sowing and transplanting of paddies. The "Maagh Bihu", also called as "Bhogali Bihu" or the Festival of Food, marks the end of the harvesting period. It is one of those festivals which all the major tribes in the state celebrate, with different names. The Bodos call it Baisagu, while the Rabhas call it Baikho and the Missings, Deuris and Morans on the other hand call it as the Bihu Utsav. These tribes celebrate "Bihu" with dances of their own distinctive style. In this festival, Assam comes alive to the beating of the Dhol (drums) and the melody of the Pepa (flute).

Brahmaputra Beach Festival

The Brahmaputra Beach Festival coincides with Magh Bihu, the Assamese harvest festival. This festival is held on the beautiful, white riverine beaches of the river Brahmaputra and provides a scintillating outdoor experience. During this festival, various contests like elephant race, kite flying and modern adventure sports like wind surfing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, para-dropping, hot air ballooning, and volleyball are held at the beach.

Dehing Patkai Festival

Dehing Patkai Festival derives its name from the lofty Patkai range and the playful Dehing river. This festival is organized in the month of January every year in the eastern Assam. In this festival, the ethnic fairs, golf, tea heritage tours, adventure sports, wildlife excursion and trips to World War II cemeteries and the Stilwell Road, once the passage to the golden land of Myanmar are organized.

Elephant Festival
Elephant Festival, Assam

The Elephant Festival is organized every year in the month of February at Kaziranga National Park. This festival is organized jointly by the Forest Department and Tourism Department, Govt. of Assam for conservation and protection of Asiatic elephant. The festival includes many activities by domestic elephants and various cultural programmes.

Rongali Utsav Festival

Rongali Utsav Festival is celebrated in the month of April at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati. This festival is celebrated by the numerous communities, tribes and sub-tribes inhabiting the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra to welcome the onset of the spring season.

Ambubachi Fair

Ambubachi Fair is the most important fair which is held held every year during monsoon (mid-June). This festival is held at the Kamakhya temple of Guwahati. It is a common belief that Kamakhya, or the mother Shakti goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this period. During this fair, the doors of the temple remains closed for three days as it is believed that the earth becomes impure. During this time no farming work is undertaken and daily worship and other religious performances are suspended. After three days, the temple doors are reopened and the goddess is given bath and other rituals are performed. The devotees can enter inside the temple for worship. It is believed that the mother earth regains her purity now. It is celebrated with 'Tantric rites'. Thousands of devotees from all over India visit this fair.

Majuli Festival

The Majuli Festival is celebrated on the banks of the Luit river in Majuli, which is located in a backdrop of immense scenic beauty. During the festival, special events, cultural programmes are organized in which the various traditional and classical cultural troupes of Assam and troupes from rest of the country participates. A grand exhibition cum sale is also organized where the artists and experts demonstrate various Assamese products specially designed and prepared by them like tribal garments, handicrafts, traditional pottery items, valuable items made of bamboo and cane. The Assamese and tribal dishes of Majuli are also made available, and food festival is also organized during this time.

Jonbeel Fair

Jonbeel Fair, the spectacular fair is held every year during winter at Jonbeel of Jagiroad, a lesser known township only 32 kms from Guwahati. A few days before the fair, tribes like the Tiwas, Karbis, Khasis, Jaintias from the Meghalaya hills gather here with their various products. During this fair, a big bazar is held where these tribes exchange thier products with local people in barter system which is very rare in a civilized modern society. Before the fair, they perform fire worship or agni puja for the well being of mankind. The 'govaraja' or the king of the Tiwa tribe along with his courtiers also visit this fair and collect taxes from his subjects. The significant point of this fair is its theme of harmony and brotherhood among various tribes and communities. Various tribes and communities perform their traditional dances and music to celebrate the fair.

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