The North-Eastern region of India is known for being one of the unexplored pieces of nature that sit close to defining paradise for mankind. The region is immensely prevalent for its vibrant, dynamic and extravagant celebration of their festivals that showcase their culture and traditions in North East India.
Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Named after Nagaland’s most admired bird, the Hornbill Festival is celebrated in the first week of December every year . Nagaland depends hugely on their agriculture and most of their festivals revolve around it. Hence, participating and rejoicing these festivals with zeal and passion is extremely important to them. The state of Nagaland has an uncountable number of tribes spreading their presence. They are known to celebrate festivals according to the importance of the tribes. Therefore, to spread unity and promote cultural practices of tribes of the state, the government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill festival. It is also called the festival of festivals.
Also Read:- HORNBILL FESTIVAL 2021 – THE CULTURE OF NAGALAND
Wangala Festival, Meghalaya
The diverse Meghalaya is popular for celebrating the Wangala Festival, a harvest festival that worships Misi Saljong, the sun god toward whom they express gratitude for blessing and offering them with a flourishing harvest. An enormous number of tribes abide in the state. Of which the Garo tribe, stated to be the second-largest tribal community of Meghalaya, celebrates the Wangala Festival in the second week of November every year. The festival is said to last for 3 days or stretch to a week. The festival also signifies the onset of the winter season. Celebrated in the Garo hills of Meghalaya, people dance, sing and eat their heart out with the members of their tribe. The festival is also known as the ‘100 Drums Festival’ as the men beat around 100 drums to create a rejoiceful and rhythmic sound that pleases the ears.
Torgya Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Celebrated by the Torgya tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, the Torgya festival is celebrated to ward of any evil forces or the occurrence of any natural disaster. Every year the Torgya festival is celebrated on the 28 day of the eleventh month according to the lunar calendar.
The motive of the festival is to seek peace, harmony and wellness for the people of the tribe. The festival is held at the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, where a ten feet pyramid-like structure is made out of flour known as Torma and offered to the images of the gods present in the lobby of the monastery. The Torma is then burnt in the bonfire symbolizing the end of the evilness. Monks dressed in traditional attire perform their ritual dance known as chham.
Nongkrem Dance Festival, Meghalaya
The Nongrem Dance Festival is celebrated by the Khasi tribe at the picturesque Khasi hills of Meghalaya to thank the Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a rich harvest, peace and harmony among the members of the tribe. The meaning of ‘Nongrem’ also means the “goat killing ceremony”. A five-day-long festival that is celebrated in November. The festival sees a lot of young men and women dressed up in their traditional red and yellow attires that can be seen rejoicing and dancing to the beats of the drums and the tangmuri. Men are seen holding a sword and a whisk in their hands.
Losoong Festival, Sikkim
Losoong or Namsoong is the new year of the people of Sikkim. It is on the 18th day of the 10th month depending of the Tibetan lunar calendar. The rituals that are practised under this festival are inspired by the Losar that is the Tibetan New. As the festival marks the end of the harvesting season, farmers can be seen rejoicing and enjoy celebrating the fruits of their labour and hard work. The Cham Dance is the major attraction of the Losoong. Monks dressed in their traditional attire, wearing masks can be seen dancing to the instrumental music been played. The Cham dance is also a way of welcoming a new harvest season and warding off the evil.
The festival is also celebrated in, Nepal and Bhutan.
Majuli Festival, Assam
The Majuli Festival is celebrated on the world’s largest river island. Majuli resides on one of the largest basins in the world known as Brahmaputra River. The festival starts on the 21st of November and subsides after a four-day-long course. The festival is held for the Neo- Viashnavite culture and local artists of Assam to come ahead and present their art enriched in their culture. Not just people of the state but people from all over the country are welcome to participate and showcase their art. People attending the festival will be able to see handicrafts and apparel war made from sugarcane and bamboo products. Debates and events are also held as a way to discuss and seek a solution to issues that the state of Assam has been suffering through.
Sangai Festival, Manipur
Commenced from the year 2010, the Sangai Festival of Manipur derives its name from the antlered deer ‘Sangai’. The deer is the state animal of Manipur and is the only found there. The festival is celebrated from 21st of November to the 30th of November. As the purpose behind celebrating this festival is to promote the tourism of Manipu. It was also popularly known as the Tourism Festival. Every year the festival showcases the art, craftsmanship, culture, delicacies, music and many other things of Manipur. The festivities spread all over the valley of Imphal, where people all over the world come and represent their culture and art.
India International Cherry Blossom Festival, Meghalaya
Held from 14th November to 17th November in Meghalaya, the festival is one of a kind. The festival celebrates the sprouting of Himalayan Cherry blossoms as they last only for a short period. The festival is organized by the Government of Meghalaya’s Forest & Environment Department and the Institute of Bioresources & Sustainable Development (IBSD) in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The event has been known to be celebrated in 28 more countries like United states of America, South America and many more. The celebration of the Cherry Blossom Festival sees a lot of visitors all over the world through which the state generates revenue and many employment opportunities. Thus, promoting the tourism of Meghalaya and the north-eastern states.
Ziro Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Every year, in the end, week of September, the acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh hosts the famous Ziro Music Festival. The festival was launched in 2012 by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist, Anup Kutty. Various music talents of India perform at this four-day-long fest is the perfect amalgamation of culture, tradition and music that attracts a lot of youngsters in search of soulful music around the country. Hosted by the Apatani tribe, people visiting the Ziro valley especially to witness this four-day music craze surely won’t be disappointed. It promises an enlightening time where Indian artists such as Steve Shelley, Lee Ranaldo, Menwhopause, and Peter Cat Recording Co. and Guru Rewben Mashangva and many more can be seen here. te festival also promises to add the name of more such artists soon.
Orange Festival of Adventure and Music, Dambuk
A unique blend of adventure sports and vibrant music, the Orange Festival of Adventure and Music is held in the mid of December. The festival is hosted in Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh every year. Dambuk is known as one of the popular places to produce the best kind of oranges in India. Hence, it is named the Orange Festival. Due to the area experiencing a huge amount of rainfall, Dambuk is difficult to visit for six months. People can only commute through elephant back rides. But after the chaotic and rainy periods, it welcomes tourists from various places to visit and experience adventure and music lovers.
Also Read:- HORNBILL FESTIVAL 2021 – THE CULTURE OF NAGALAND