Guwahati, April 14 : The week-long Rongali Bihu festivities in Assam started on a disastrous note on Wednesday with 10 persons, including a girl and a minor, drowning while taking bath in rivers as part of the celebrations, officials said.
According to the officials, at Sootea in Biswanath district, five persons drowned in Ghiladhari river, while two others sank in the Burhidihing river in Dibrugarh district.
In another incident, two youths drowned in Burhidihing river at Kalkhowa in Jorhat district when they went to the river to bathe their cattle.
In another incident, a minor died after falling into the Brahmaputra river in Kharghuli area of Guwahati.
Most of the bodies have been recovered after hectic efforts.
The Rongali Bihu, also called Bohag Bihu, is the most important and colourful of the three Bihus in Assam -- Rongali, Kongali or Kati Bihu and Bhogali or Magh Bihu.
Before the actual Rongali starts on Thursday, Garu Bihu was observed on Wednesday when all the households in the villages bathe their cows by the riverside.