Kati Bihu, the third of the Bihus on the Assamese calendar, was observed with due solemnity across the State today. Unlike the two other Bihus, i.e., Bohag or Rongali and Magh or Bhogali, Kati Bihu is not associated with merrymaking and sumptuous feasts, the reason being that the occasion coincides with the lean season of the agriculturists. Austerity and somberness replace amusement and revelry, as the people pray for a rewarding harvest.
People lit earthen lamps in paddy fields as also in household campuses and before the holy plant of tulasi, while praying for a good harvest in the coming season. As the occasion is considered austere, none of the festivities associated with the two preceding Bihus, i.e., Bohag and Magh, find a place in Kati Bihu.
Like the other two Bihu, Kati Bihu is also closely related to agriculture. This Bihu is celebrated on the first day 'Kati' month in Assamese calendar. This is the period of time in the year when the paddy grows in the fields and cultivators work hard and eagerly wait for a good harvest. This period also witness emptiness in the granaries of the hard working cultivators. This is the reason why this Bihu is also called Kongali Bihu, 'Kongal' stands for 'Poor'.
The agriculturists also believe that lighting of lamps in fields is an auspicious omen that keeps off pests and anything that could be potentially damaging for a good harvest.
In Guwahati also, earthen lamps were lit by many people in their residences.