On the beaches of the mighty Brahmaputra River in Assam, an open air beach fair and festival is organized by the Assam Boat Racing and Rowing Association with support from the Assam Tourism Development Corporation. The festival coincides with the Magh Bihu, the harvesting festival celebrated in the state during the month of January. The Brahmaputra Beach Fair and Festival aims to promote the indigenous tradition and culture of the land to the youth of the state as well as the culture aficionados. The bright and colorful scenes of the festival inspire jubilation and excitement among the onlookers. Traditional sports like boat racing is one of the main parts of the festival, where beautifully decked boats compete in a race held on Brahmaputra River. Other adventure sports are also undertaken during this festival along with other sports like beach cricket, beach volleyball etc. Cultural programmes are also organized that display the traditional arts and culture of the state. Competitions like Kite flying and drawing are also organized. Stalls are set up which sell traditional Assamese handicraft items.
History of the Festival
On the vast sandy beaches of the Brahmaputra, the fair and festival is being held from quite sometime now. However after successfully organizing the festival for a few years, there was an 8 years gap after 2004 and directly in 2012, the festival and fair has made a comeback.
Duration of the Festival
The festival is held on the day of Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu. It starts from the day break and runs throughout the day.
Highlights/ Important Rituals of the Festival
- Before the boats start competing with each other, prayers are said, and rituals observed, for the safe and victorious trip of the boats.
- There are a number of folk dance and song programmes organized during this festival.
- People take part in a number of adventure sports like rafting and canoeing, paragliding among others.