Author : Birinchi Kr Hazarika
Faat Bihu is the cultural pride of Dhakuakhana, well in fact, of Assam. It is celebrated every year at the Mohghuli Chapori near the bank of Charikariya river in the month of “Bohag” from the time immemorial. Probably it is one of the oldest “Bohag Bihu” celebrations in Assam.
The oldest name of Dhakuakhana was Habung. It is believed that Swargadeu Sukafa stayed here for two years to establish the capital of Ahom kingdom. But as ill luck would have it, Habung was a flood affected area. So the dream of establishing it as the capital vanished. So Charaideu was made the first capital of Ahom Kingdom.
In Ahom Kingdom, the bank of Charikariya river (near to Mohghuli Chapori) was used by the traders for trade and payment of wages. In Assamese, the word “Faat” means a place where the traders assemble for trading purpose. These people celebrated Bohag Bihu at this faat of Charikariya river for seven days. Some believe that the name Faat Bihu originates from this celebration of bihu . People of various tribes and caste like Chutiya, Ahom, Mishing, Deuri etc came to this place to celebrate the bihu for seven days.
There is another belief that the Ahom king sent the deuri, bar-deuri, dhuliya, teli-mati to look after the worship at Harhi Devalaya (around 3km away from Dhakuakhana town). These people celebrated the Bohag Bihu from the first Wednesday of the Assamese month Bohag for seven days. The Chutiya, Ahom, Mishing etc also imitated them and used to celebrate the bihu in the same way. There was so much excitement and gaieties in the celebration that their clothes were torn into strips, “dhol”s were cracked. So this bihu was named as Faat Bihu.
Whatever its origin, Faat Bihu has its own traditional significance. Irrespective of caste and religions, people come to Mohghuli Chapori to celebrate the bihu with infinite spirit and enthusiasm. Culture changes along with time. The Faat Bihu has also undergone a lot of change. Now it is celebrated for three days. Various competitive events like Mukoli bihu, Jeng Bihu, Toka Bihu, Mohila Bihu, Gamosa competition etc. are held . In spite of these change, the Faat Bihu has not lost its original significance. The most amazing part of this bihu is the natural beauty of Mohghuli Chapori. Another significant part of the Faat Bihu is the tradition of wearing dhoti. Nobody is allowed to enter the stage of Faat Bihu in any other attire. So I believe that this is purest form of Bohag Bihu celebration in Assam.
Dhakuakhana still is a worse flood affected area. Every year the Brahmaputra becomes the reason of cry. There is no smooth communication to Dhakuakhana. The PWD road from Lakhimpur to Dhakuakhana is deplorable. But these factors i.e. flood or Assam Government’s negligence or corruption can never diminish the exuberance of the people of Dhakuakhana to celebrate Faat Bihu every year. They never fall into oblivion to celebrate Faat Bihu. Long live Faat Bihu with its own color.