Dwijing, where Dwi means the river and Jing means the riverbank, in Bodo language, translates into the festival of a river and its bank. It is not only the literal translation that refers to the celebration of the river and its banks, but the motto of the festival also says the same, Celebrate The River. The festival is hosted on the banks of the river Aie. Aie means Mother in Bodo Language. The river changes its face all through the year but the landmark of Hagarama Bridge remains the same.
Dwijing Festival is an annual festival held during the new year’s time, from Dec 27th to Jan 7th every year. We were invited by Bodoland Tourism and Assam Tourism to attend the festival, through their program, Ambassadors of Bodoland. While the festival lasts for 12 days, we spent 3 days here, and in these three days, we were not able to see it in its entirety. We couldn’t eat all the food, could not drink all types of local wines, dance with locals was never getting enough and the art installments were so thought-provoking that you might be spending days at a time and still not be fulfilled by the meanings.
Is It Worth The Hype
Well, we are not really the people who believe in hype. We need to try and test for our own before saying anything about the worth of anything. So if you ask about us then, hell yeah! It was all worth it! Even a single sunset scene would be enough to satisfy the hype, the entire of it might not be even needed.
So let’s get started with this Dwijing Festival Guide
The main stage of the festival hosts live performances from not only the very famous celebrities but it is also a platform for local talents to showcase their worth. The best of these performances were some traditional folk dances and local bands. There were some live sports events happening too, we got to see boxing and wrestling matches too. You can wander around and find something that suits your interest.
Food at Dwijing – This Festival is a meat eaters paradise
The whole of North East India has this eerie yet exotic fame for the non-vegetarian food, and Dwijing Festival was no exception to it. Having a special liking for meat dominated diets, it was something straight out of a dream scene for us. We tried all types of meat that were available. Let us tell you of this — chicken is a norm, pigeon, fish, pork, silkworms, and some others too follow. There were some options for vegetarians too, but we remained on the other side of the table.
Adventure activities have a new address at Dwijing Festival
No festival in any part of India is complete without those big swings and giant wheels, but the Bodo people are taking it to all different levels. They have got Hot Air Balloon, Paragliding, Helicopter rides as well. Being on the riverside, river rafting, and boating comes naturally to Dwijing Festival.
Culture, Handicraft and Shopping – Dwijing has you covered
The Dwijing Festival was started with the sole purpose of showcasing the Bodo culture to the world. While the main attraction and list topper will be the vibrant Dhokna, the bamboo products can not be neglected too. The bamboo plays a significant role in day to day life of Bodo people. We recommend getting hands-on handmade bamboo souvenirs, such as Bamboo Beer Mugs, Bamboo basket, Bamboo back clips, bamboo bangles, bamboo decorative products.
Art Installations at the Dwijing Festival
Probably the best thing, for us, about the Dwijing Festival, is the Art Section of the Festival. Here, local artists come together and create some meaningful art. Something that talks about what we need to do for a better life and environment — something which is generally overlooked in these kinds of festivals. This year, the main art installment was dedicated to martyrs of the Pulwama terrorist attack.
Brownie point: Try to get on that helicopter ride right at the dusk, you will thank us later.
How to reach Dwijing festival
The nearest town and city is Bongaigaon which is about 5-6 km from the festival ground. Bongaigaon is 180 km from Guwahati and has the nearest airport and major railway station.
The best way to get to Bongaigaon from Guwahati is to take a taxi.
Accomodation at Dwijing Festival
When it comes to accommodation, The Cygnett Park Hotel is the nearest hotel to festival grounds. The festival also has some tented and bamboo huts for tourists. The best is if you can get to stay in some homestays in villages near to the festival, for that you can contact The Root Bridge Foundation.
We are sure there are plenty of things we must have left out here! So, if all stays well post this corona pandemic, join the festival this year and see for yourselves. if you have been here and have something to add to this guide, don’t forget to tell us.