Magh Bihu is celebrated in the month of January to mark the end of harvesting season. As the granaries are full. This harvesting festival is observed all over Assam. The word Bhogali comes from the word Bhog which means eating and enjoying. the day of Uruka i.e. the eve of sankranti, Bhellaghar and Mejis are made particularly by the menfolk, with bamboo sticks, hay and wood pieces. A community feast is held on the uruka nite inside the Bhellaghar which is a makeshift cottage. After preparing and enjoying a feast inside the bhelaghar, men spend the night there and in the early hours of the next morning lit the bhelaghar down. Its ashes are then spread to the fields and the trees to bring luck for a better harvesting in future. Usually it is a small hut like structure but now a days we see more elaborate ones like the one in this picture.
On the day of Sankranti or Bihu people gather at their fields at very early hrs in the morning. Meji burning is a ritual where fire(Agni) is worshipped. Here you can see a meji prepared by the villagers.
In the very early hour of the morning ,villagers gather near the meji. All the offerings are placed in front of the meji ,people lite earthen lamps at the base of the meji .Later one of the elders of the community does the honor of lighting up the meji..A thick cloud of smoke soon covers the area. as soon as it is lighted.
As the fire burns one can hear the the sound of crackling sound of burning bamboos .While the meji burns people greet and invite each other to their home for eating pithas and jolpan(snacks).
Once the meji is completely burnt....ladies start distributing all the offerings as prasad to the people present there.
The ashes are collected and put on the foreheads as tilak....as you see in this picture.For the next few days people feast and visit their family and friends .