majuli-festival

Majuli festival is celebrated in the district of Majuli, which is the biggest river island in the world. It also serves as the center of Assamese civilization and is home to the Neo- Vaishnavite culture, for which the state is very renowned. The region is also the melting pot of a number of tribes and races, each of which has its own distinct customs and traditions. However, despite the difference in their ethnicity, all of them live in perfect peace and harmony – a unique trait seen only in this part of the world. The island has a large number of monasteries or Satras, which represents its Neo-Viashnavite culture.

The Majuli festival puts forward the exclusive Neo-Viashnavite culture of the Majuli region in particular and of Assam as a whole. It is celebrated at Garamur, located at a distance of 1.5 km away from the sub-divisional headquarter of Majuli, on the banks of the river Luit. The festival lasts for a total of 4 days. During these days, people from all over the country come to see as well as be a part of the Majuli festival. Cultural events are held throughout the day and people from within and outside Assam come to participate in these events.

Artists and artisans from all over the state also come to exhibit their handmade products at the Majuli festival. These include traditional handicrafts and garments, locally made cane and bamboo products, and so on. Food fests are also organized at the festival and there is a rich display of the local delicacies of the state in general and of the tribes of Majuli in particular. There are also other activities undertaken during this time. Seminars are held, discussions on different topics are made and there is general attempt to address some local issues within the state.

Originally, the island was a long, narrow piece of land called Majoli (land in the middle of two parallel rivers) that had the Brahmaputra flowing in the north and the Burhidihing flowing in the south, till they met at Lakhu. Frequent earthquakes in the period 1661–1696 set the stage for a catastrophic flood in 1750 that continued for 15 days, which is mentioned in historical texts and reflected in folklore. As a result of this flood, the Brahmaputra split into two branches — one flowing along the original channel and the other flowing along the Burhidihing channel and the Mājuli island was formed. The Burhidihing’s point of confluence moved 190 km east and the southern channel which was the Burhidihing became the Burhi Xuti. The northern channel, which was previously the Brahmaputra, became the Luit Xuti. In due course, the flow in the Luit Xuti decreased, and it came to be known as the Kherkutia Xuti; and the Burhi Xuti expanded via erosion to become the main Brahmaputra River.

The locals speak in the Mising and Assamese languages.

The main industry is agriculture, with paddy being the chief crop. Mājuli has a rich and diverse agricultural tradition, with as many as 100 varieties of rice grown, all without pesticides or artificial fertilisers. Among the fascinating arrays of rice produced are the Komal Saul, a unique type that can be eaten after immersing the grains in warm water for 15 minutes and usually eaten as a breakfast cereal; the bao dhan, that grows under water and is harvested after ten months; and the Bora saul, a sticky brown rice used to make the traditional cake known as pitha. Fishing, dairying, pottery, handloom and boat-making are other important economic activities.