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Culture

Religion: The Bodo community worships dozens of Hindu deities like Siva, Durga, Kali, Ram and Krishna along with tribal deities like Bathou or Shijou, Mainao, Mairong and Agrang.

Traditionally, the Boros have practiced Bathouism. With the Christian missionaries crossing frontiers, the Bodos have also adopted Christianity. Some Bodos also follow the Brahma Dharma. Bathouism is a form of worshiping forefathers called Obonglaoree. The Sijou plant (belonging to the Euphorbia genus), is worshiped as the symbol of Bathou.

Festivals: Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, 'Baishagu' or popularly called Bihu is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis during mid April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodo tribe. The Bodos also celebrate it as a springtime festival at the advent of the new year.

Rituals: During Boisagu (Bohag Bihu in Assamese) in the month of April, the Bodos and their non-Bodo neighbours observe the parwa festival. The parwa is a tall bamboo pole draped with rags and flags which is taken from the village on the last day of the Bihu and is put up alongside a tree in a field, where the people assemble, worship, amuse and dance.

It appears that this is a relic or survival of the ‘phallic’ worship, the parwa taking the place of the lingam or the Supreme Being. Another instance may be taken from the fact that the element of water is held in special regard by the Bodo people.

Gods and Goddesses : The Bodos are polytheists. In the tribal region the worship of Bathou Brai as the supreme god along with other deities is almost a regular feature. They worship their Supreme God near Bathou Gudi, a sacred place that is almost unfailingly found in the north-east side of every courtyard of the Bathou followers.

 The chief God of the community Bathou/ Kheria Borai is worshipped along with a host of gods and goddesses of the Bodo pantheon during the Kherai Puja, the greatest religious festival observed by the Bodos in public life. As the people here belong largely to an agricultural community, the great Kherai puja is directly connected with the harvest of crops; generally performed in the month of Kartik (October-November) and Aghan (June-July) in order to be blessed by Bathou Brai and Mainao Buri for a bumper harvest of ahu and sal.

 The snake goddess Manasha/Manakha or Vishahari is worshipped by the Bodos along with other tribal and non-tribal people.