The Bizu is the most important socio-religious festival of the Chakma community. The Bizu festival is celebrated worldwide wherever the Chakmas reside.
The Chakmas, although of Tibeto Mongoloid stock, have intrinsic similarities with the mainstream Indian culture in several ways. Prominent among them is that they celebrate their New Year not on the 1st January but in the month of April as celebrated by several Indian communities across the country: Bihu by Assamese, Bwishagu of the Bodos, Bishu in Kerala and elsewhere, Baisakhi in Punjab, Pohela Boishakh by Bengalis etc.
The festival is celebrated on three consecutive days in the run-up to the Chakma New Year. The first day is called Phool Bizu, followed by Mul Bizu and Gojya Pojya Bizu. Although, it is a three-day festival but the celebration lasts for more than a week
The first day is known as Phool Bizu. As the name suggests, flowers, called “Bizu Phool” are collected and also released on river. On this day, household items, clothes are cleaned and washed, houses are decorated with flowers to give a new look, temples are cleaned, respect paid to monks and parents, elderly were given a bath, domesticated animals are well fed with gratitude.
The second day is known as Mul Bizu. The day starts with a bath in the river. People wear new clothes and make rounds of the village. Women wear “Phinon” and “Haadi” while men wear “silum” and “dhudi”. A specially made unique delicious mixed vegetable curry known as “Pazon ton”, made up of at least seven types of vegetables, is served in every household to the visitors.
Various homemade sweets, biscuits (pide), desserts, etc are also served. People also take part in different traditional sports such as gile hara, Nadeng hara, gudu hara, etc. The day ends with the Bizu dance.
GOJYA POJYA BIZU
The final day, known as “Gojya Pojya Din” involves the performances of different socio-religious activities. This day marks the Chakma New Year.
SIGNIFICANCE OF BIZU FESTIVAL
Traditionally, the Chakmas are agrarian community. In the context, it is believed that Bizu is a festival, which revolves around agricultural activities because it is celebrated in mid-April when the earth is just drenched with the first rain and the jum sowing is taken up. It is also said that with the objective of getting a rich harvest, worship of the earth was arranged, which later on took the form of a festival.
The Chakma Post wishes all “a very happy and warm Bizu.