5 Festivals of North East India You Must Be A Part Of
Apart from its scenic beauty, Northeast India’s rich indigenous culture draws tourists from all over. The seven sisters of Northeast India celebrate varied festivals related to agriculture, the beginning of the New Year, and Buddhism. The rituals conducted at these festivals, the delicious food served, and the warm hospitality offered by the locals are why so many cultural enthusiasts come to Northeast India, curious to find out more about their culture and be a part of the celebrations.
Here are some North-east India festivals that you must witness.
Celebrating the changing seasons, Bihu is one of the most important festivals of Northeast India. There are three kinds of Bihus–Bohaag Bihu is celebrated in mid-April, Magh Bihu celebrated in the middle of January, and Kati Bihu in mid-October. The Assamese New Year coincides with the harvest season Bohaag Bihu in April. The festival is celebrated at the beginning of the harvest season in Assam since the occupation of most Assamese people is agriculture due to the fertile lands replenished by the Brahmaputra river. Bihu is a seven-day celebration where the locals perform the Bihu dance, bathe and feed the bulls in the vicinity, prepare special delicacies and present each other with a Gamosa.
The rich indigenous culture of Nagaland has always fascinated tourists, but Nagaland’s biggest tourist attraction is its Hornbill Festival. Various tribes in Nagaland celebrate their unique festivals throughout the year. However, the Hornbill Festival encourages inter-tribal interaction. This festival usually takes place in the first week of December. Tribals come together to display colourful performances, play games, conduct sacred ceremonies, and enjoy local delicacies. The Hornbill National Rock show takes place during this time when bands from all over the country come to Nagaland and compete.
Losoong is a festival that marks the end of the harvest season. It is that time of the year when the farmers in the state relax and celebrate a good harvest after a year of hard work in the fields. The biggest highlight of the Losoong festival is the Cham dance. Performed by the Buddhist monks, this dance is a colourful extravaganza where the monks wear vibrant attires and dance to the eclectic beats of folk music of Assam. The music, dance, and delectable food make this one of the most amazing north east India festivals.
While in Sikkim, plan a stay at one of Club Mahindra’s resorts. Club Mahindra, Baiguney and resort in Gangtok are lovely place to sit back and relax after experiencing the festivities of Loosong.
Wangala festival, also called the 100 drums festival, is celebrated by the Garos of Meghalaya. It is a harvest festival celebrated around the second week of November where they worship Saljong, the Sun God. This is the time when the villagers relax and enjoy after toiling in their fields and receiving a good harvest. The ‘Ragula’ ceremony is performed on the first day at the home of the Chief of the village. The second day called ‘Kakkat’ is when people dress up in colourful attire, feathered headgears, and dance to the tune of drums. The festival gives tourists a deep insight into the lives of the Garos tribe in Meghalaya and has been helping preserve their rich culture and heritage over the years.
Shillong is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North East India. Plan a stay at Polo Towers, a Club Mahindra’s affiliate resort that provides a serene experience in the middle of the city. It is the perfect base for those looking to explore the Scotland of India and enjoy new and unique experiences.
The Dree festival is celebrated by the Apatani tribe and is one of the most popular festivals of north east India. Sacrificial offerings and prayers are offered to the 4 gods Tamu, Harniang, Metii, and Danyi for a lavish harvest season. This auspicious three-day-festival is celebrated in Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The celebrations consist of local delicacies like tangy rice and millet beer. The tribal people sing and perform dances and cucumber is distributed among the guests for a fruitful harvest. Tourists can join in for the fun and explore the culture of Arunachal Pradesh through this beautiful festival.
North East India may be full of beautiful sights, but it is also full of beautiful people with a rich cultural heritage. Plan a visit to northeast India and experience their festivals firsthand.