COVID-19: Rongali Bihu celebrations in Assam cancelled

Rongali Bihu celebrations in Assam cancelled in view of coronavirus fear

Rongali Bihu, the spring festival is celebrated in the second week of April every year

People wear masks as preventive measures in the wake of the novel coronavirus scare at Fancy Bazar market in Guwahati, ([PTI Photo)

Rongali Bihu celebrations in Assam next month will remain restricted to rituals only in view of the coronavirus fear. 

As the state government was taking every possible step to prevent the spread of coronavirus, organisers of most Bihu celebrations, Assam's biggest festival, decided to cancel their on-stage programmes here.

The Greater Guwahati Ringali Bihu Co-ordination Committee, a forum of Bihu organisers here said the decision was taken as a precautionary measure and to avoid crowds.

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"Since precaution and prevention are the only things we all can do to avoid the spread of coronavirus, we have decided to keep the Bihu celebrations limited to rituals only. No cultural programmes will be organised. Rongali Bihu is like the lifeline of Assamese people but we have decided to sacrifice the celebrations for good of all," Kailash Sarma of the committee said here.

Rongali Bihu, the spring festival is celebrated in the second week of April every year, with both open air and on stage Bihu dance and music programmes organised for the entire week. The celebrations, however, in some places continue through entire April.

"This will also cause a financial loss to the local artists, Bihu troups and all related to the celebrations but we all must take steps to avoid something which has assumed endemic status across the world," another Bihu organiser said. 

Many said the Bihu organisers took such a big step after 1983, when Assam witnessed turmoil due to the anti-foreigners agitation. 

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