Biju Festival 2022: Date, History, Significance and Rituals of the Festival of Tripura
India is known for its rich cultural heritage as well as diversity. It is home to different states and communities with their own culture, traditions and festivals. One such colourful festival is Biju, celebrated by the Chakma community in Tripura, marking the dawn of a New Year for them.
Celebrated over three days, Biju falls on the last day of the Bengali calendar. This year, the Biju Festival will be celebrated in Tripura on April 13, on Wednesday.
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What is Biju festival
Biju is a festival to celebrate the bountiful first harvest following the first rains during the agricultural season. It is also the occasion to celebrate and showcase the rich cultural assortment of the Chakma people.
According to Pradyot Chakma, the Convener for the Biju community, the purpose of celebrating the festival is to ‘generate awareness about the culture and traditions of the Chakma community among the young generation’.
Who else celebrates Biju Festival
Besides the Chakma community, Biju is also celebrated by other tribes and ethnic groups in Tripura like the Marma, Tangchangya, Tripuris, Mro, Khumi, Khiyang and Chak. The festival has been given different names such as ‘Sangrai’, ‘Bishu’, ‘Baisu’ etc., by the various communities celebrating them.
One of the main attractions of the festival is the special Biju dance, accompanied by the rhythms of traditional musical instruments that constitute percussion and flute.
How Biju Festival is Celebrated
On the first day of Biju, called Phool Biju, people clean their houses and decorate them with flowers. They also pay floral tributes to the nearby rivers.
The second day, called Mul Biju, is celebrated with the performance of traditional songs and dances, culminating with the famous Biju dance.
On the third and final day, known as Gotche Potche Biju, elders of the community are honoured with an elaborate feast and renew marriage vows with their spouses.
Earlier the festival used to be celebrated for over a fortnight. However, in changing times, it is celebrated over three days.
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