Magh Bihu 2021: Of Pithas and Meji, festive feels at home

Mouth-watering dishes as a part of the genuine feast, previous movies of conventional Bihu dance, and a gathering of solely the shut knit will mark this 12 months’s celebrations of the harvest pageant, Magh Bihu, for many Assamese in Delhi-NCR. The pandemic might need turned the bonhomie intimate, however the spirit of the pageant stays intact since plans to organize delicacies at house is full on!

Pithas to brace the pandemic

“Magh Bihu is a time when we all come together to celebrate the harvest. For me, the whole idea of the festival is to eat,” says Shaaistah Borah, a 14-year-old pupil from Gurugram. He shares that the nice previous celebrations at giant scale group gatherings will likely be missed. “It won’t be the same this year without the party and traditional games and music, but it would certainly be something memorable with my family. This time we’ll have our own little celebration at home. Our breakfast will start with doi-sira-gur (curd-rice flakes-jaggery) and we’ll cook the same traditional dishes as earlier, such as narikol pitha (coconut rice cake) and laru (coconut laddu).”

For Ritvik Saikia, one other Gurugram resident, the Magh Bihu celebrations will likely be sans normal cheerfulness. He recollects, “We all used to sit around a bonfire in the chilly Delhi evening… Although the gathering will be small this year, we’ll still make the most of it and spend time with our family, savour some delectable dishes made out of mutton, pork and fish, and of course the delicious pithas!”

Sourced from Assam, savoured in Delhi

The Assam Affiliation Delhi has placed on maintain the annual occasion that’s organised to have a good time Magh Bihu, as a result of restrictions imposed throughout Covid-19. Dibyojit Dutta, basic secretary of the affiliation, says, “We were hoping that the government provides some relaxations so that we could arrange the annual event, but that’s not happening for now as it’s important to follow Covid-19 guidelines for the health of everyone. I’ve recently come back from Assam, and have brought lots of foods that I’ll be enjoying with my north east friends here in the Capital!”

Meji lighting: To bid goodbye to chilly

“This year we will celebrate Uruka with my family. On the day of Makar Sankranti, we welcome Sun into the northern hemisphere,” says Jayantimala Devi, a retired authorities official,including, “In the morning we will light the traditional Meji (a structure made of wood and tree leaves) in the society ground to prayer, and symbolically offer the produce from the harvest to the fire god, Agni, to bid farewell to the biting cold.”

However the Meji will even be created at a smaller scale this 12 months. Hironlal Dutta, a retired authorities worker, says Magh Bihu goes to be a “tamed affair” and “instead of big Mezi bonfire, this time we’ll have a mini Mezi, for which we have already procured a small angethi, online.”

Dutta too feels unhappy that the massive social gathering and huge scale group feast will likely be missed this time round. “The lovely occasion will be celebrated within the four walls of our homes. I live in a group housing society where majority of the residents are Assamese, and we used to celebrate both Magh Bihu and Bohag Bihu in a grand manner. But this time such big social gatherings are prohibited. My family will of course have a small Bhoj on Uruka night. Our Bihu motto this time is: Enjoy from home!”

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