The state of Tripura grandly celebrates the Biju Festival in April every year. The festival is celebrated over a span of three days. People in Tripura observe Biju on the last day of the Bengali calendar, which is also called Chaitra Sankranti. This year, the festival will be marked on 13 April.
Originally, Biju was first marked as a harvest feast to celebrate the first produce after the rains. It is a part of the New Year celebrations of the Chakma community. People observing this feast to bid farewell to the passing year and welcome the new year with open arms and the hope that it would bring them good luck.
How the festival is celebrated
Over the three-day celebration, the first day is called Phool Biju. People observe the day by offering floral tributes to nearby rivers. Homes are cleaned and decorated with flowers. In Buddhist temples, lamps are decorated and lit, while special prayers are offered to Lord Buddha.
The second day of the festival, Mul Biju, is celebrated with traditional dances and songs. On this day, people prepare special delicacies and visit their close friends and family.
Towards the end of the day, a special Bizhu dance is held. People dress in traditional attire and dance to the beat of traditional musical instruments, including percussion instruments and flutes crafted out of bamboo.
The elders in the community are honoured on the third day or Gotche Potche Biju. The entire Chakma community comes together on the third and final day of the festival.
Many sporting events, dance and music events and games are also an important part of the festival. People also seek the blessing of Lord Buddha during Biju for a peaceful and prosperous year ahead.