Magh Bihu is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Maagha (January–February). It is the Assam celebration of Sankranthi, with feasting lasting for a week.

The festival is marked by feasts and bonfires. Young people erect makeshift huts, known as meji, from bamboo, leaves and thatch, in which they eat the food prepared for the feast, and then burn the huts the next morning. The celebrations also feature traditional Assamese games such as tekeli bhonga (pot-breaking) and buffalo fighting. Magh Bihu celebrations start on the last day of the previous month, the month of “Pooh”, usually the 29th of Pooh and usually the 14th of January, and is the only day of Magh Bihu in modern times (earlier, the festival would last for the whole month of Magh, and so the name Magh Bihu). The night before is “Uruka” (28th of Pooh), when people gather around a bonfire, cook dinner, and make merry.

During Magh Bihu people of Assam make cakes of rice with various names such as Shunga Pitha, Til Pitha etc. and some other sweets of coconut called Laru.

The Magh Bihu festival of Assam is celebrated with great fervor by its entire populace. Characterized by merry making and feasting, this festival marks the end of the harvesting season when there is abundance of everything. This is the time when the hard working agricultural folk of the state sit down to reap the benefits of their labor. However, it must be pointed out that the Magh Bihu festival is not limited to the agricultural pockets of the state. Right from the smallest of villages to the big towns and cities of Assam, people celebrate this festival with great joy, though it must be mentioned that the mode of celebration differs from the villages to the cities.

The Magh Bihu is also referred to as Bhogali Bihu or the festival of food and is celebrated in the month of January. It is the time when winter sets out on its last course, making way for spring. The night before Magh Bihu Festival is called Uruka and is characterized by loads of merry making and community feasts. However, many of the religious minded folks of Assam choose to fast and pray on this night.

On Magh Bihu, people rise early in the morning and set fire to “mejis” that are temporary pavilions made of wood, bamboo and hay. After the burning of mejis, people sit down to enjoy their fill of traditional Assamese fare. In the villages, people can also witness some interesting bullfights and bird fights. Dance and music also become the order of the day as the day wears on. People also visit the homes of their friends and relatives to exchange pleasantries on the occasion of Bihu.

The Magh Bihu Festival of Assam is an occasion when all differences are forgotten and people unite to celebrate in a pompous manner. If you travel to Assam during this time, make sure that you are a part of the celebrations.