Monday, 30th October 2017

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Green tea on uruka night

In uruka night, villagers make bhelaghars and prepare various dishes like pithas and laroos in Assam

By Manoj Kumar Ojha in Doomdooma
  • Published 12.01.20, 1:30 AM
  • Updated 12.01.20, 1:30 AM
  • a min read
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A woman makes pithas ahead of Bihu at a Bhogali Mela in Guwahati on Saturday Picture by UB Photos

Some aromatic and sweet green tea with pithas and laroos on uruka anyone? Chay Premi, a congregation of tea-loving youths of the Northeast, thinks it’s the best combination this Bhogali Bihu.

“There is a beautiful reason to begin uruka (the night of feasting) with a authentic green tea ceremony with pithas and laroos. From 1990, a positive change in choice of farmers in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh took a shape. And in place of paddy, ginger, mustard and sugarcane, most of the farmers started tea cultivation. So, why shouldn’t Bhogali Bihu begin with a cup of sweet green tea and prays for the better tea harvest,” Mala Rani Karmakar, one of the members of Chay Premi, told The Telegraph on Saturday.

“On uruka, sitting inside a bhelaghar, we will begin the community feast with green tea, chat with friends and click many selfies,” Somyadeep Mitra, another member, added.

Magh or Bhogali Bihu is the harvest festival celebrated by the Assamese in the month of Magh, which falls in mid-January. It is celebrated with the community feasts after the annual harvest.

The night before Magh Bihu is called uruka, a night of feasts.

In the run-up to the festival, villagers in all the 33 districts of Assam and the bordering Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya make the most striking and elaborate bhelaghars and tallest mejis (a large bonfire).

Villagers make bhelaghars and prepare various dishes, pithas and laroos.

The next morning the community gathers to light the meji and pray for a better harvest in the year ahead .Offerings are made to the sacred fire and people later indulge in the traditional jolpan (breakfast).Pilgrims throng Parshuram Kund

Thousands of pilgrims and sadhus from across the country have gathered for a holy dip at Parshuram Kund in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lohit district ahead of Makar Sankranti.

Parshuram Kund opens annually for pilgrimage during this time. It is believed that taking a dip in the waters washes away all sins. The mela, which will be held on Tuesday, has been organised since 1972. Parshuram Kund falls in Kamlang reserve forest near Wakro.