Vacationing in North-East India? Check Out These Unique Summer Festivals
April in North-Eastern India brings warm summers and hordes of tourists. The summer months of March to June are considered the best time of the year to visit the scenic landscapes of India’s 7 sisters. This is because most of the exciting hiking trails and tribal cultural displays of the region are open during this period.
The daytime temperature during this time ranges from 10°C to 38°C depending on the elevation of the region. Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have milder summers while Assam and Tripura often have rather hot summers that begin from April. However, some of the biggest attractions of the North-East during this time are the colourful local festivals that reverberate with the true essence of the unique local cultures.
* Mopin Festival
This festival is considered to ward off evil spirits and bring prosperity. It is celebrated by the Galong tribe of Arunachal Pradesh and is characterised by dancers wearing traditional white and black dresses and colourful ornaments. It also features the brewing of a local alcoholic beverage named Apong. The elegant dance form practised by Galong women during this festival is known as the Popir.
This is a rather colourful festival celebrated by the Tutsa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. This tribe hails from the Changlang and Tirap districts of the state and celebrates most of its festivals around agriculture. However, Pongtu Kuh is one exception that celebrates the brotherhood and fraternity of their tribe.
Sangken is a new year festival usually celebrated on April 13 in both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It is a traditional custom of the Theravada Buddhist communities of Arunachal Pradesh to participate in magnificent processions during Sangken and to sprinkle holy water on each other as a sign of purity.
This festival is signified by the beginning of one agricultural season and the end of another. It is celebrated on April 25 by the Tangsa tribes that inhabit the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. However, the exact date varies between the local Tangsa villages based on their harvest dates.
*Rongali Bihu Utsav
Also known as Xaat Bihu or Bohan Bihu, Rongali Bihu Utsav is similar to the Sangken of Arunachal Pradesh as it marks the beginning of the Assamese Calendar. This new year festival is celebrated on April 14 with a traditional indigenous dance known as Husori and marks the beginning of the agricultural harvest. This 7-day festival is divided into phases known as ‘Sot', 'Raati', 'Goru', 'Manuh', 'Kutum', 'Mela' and 'Sera'.
The Poi Sanken is a monastic festival celebrated by the Buddhists of Assam from April 13 to 15. Families tidy their homes, make local snacks and treats, and participate in certain rituals. The most important of the rituals sees Buddha idols being carried out from monasteries amidst beating drums, singing and dancing, to be later re-installed and bathed with holy water by devotees.
The glorious springtime tribal festival of the Deori tribes of Assam is something that one can only truly understand through first-hand experience. Deoris celebrate this festival by sacrificing a white bull and by showcasing immersive displays of the Deodhani dance form.
*Shad Suk Mynsiem
This festival is a typical celebration of the cohesiveness of man and woman in society. It is celebrated by the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya and involves dance and drama portrayals of the patrilineal and matrilineal structure of their societies. The dance sequences are performed by unmarried girls and depict how men are the protectors of the honour of women.
Ritualistic dancing and melodious flute songs are the order of the day for the Shad Sukra harvest festival of Meghalaya. This festival is celebrated by farmers and marks the beginning of sowing seeds. The purpose of this festival is to pray for lucrative future harvest crops.
*Sajibu Nongma Pānba/Sajibu Cheiraoba
Also known as the Meetei Cheiraoba, this festival marks the beginning of the lunar year for people who are practicians of the Meitei or Kanglei religion. This Manipuri new year celebration is important historically because it marks the ascension of King Maliya Fambalcha to the throne of Manipur at the tender age of 15 years.
Celebrated on April 21, the Chaite Dashain is also known as the Ram Navami of Sikkim. Most people across Sikkim celebrate this festival to mark the birth of Lord Rama. This festival is best enjoyed at family get-togethers with lots of delicious festive meals.
Visitors to Sikkim can also learn several local dance forms and indulge in local handicrafts like rock painting when staying at Club Mahindra Gangtok, Club Mahindra Baiguney, and Summit Sobralia. These mesmerising resorts don’t just provide a luxurious abode for tourists on their visit to Sikkim, but also enable them to truly engage with the local culture of the region.
This major festival of Tripura is celebrated on the 7th day of the Hindu calendar month of Vaisakha. It usually falls somewhere during the 3rd week of April. This festival is celebrated in Tripura in honour of the local deity Baba Garia, who is worshipped with flowers and garlands.
This grand festival of Tripura is celebrated during the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar, but going by the English calendar, it may occur in either March or April. The Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva are primarily worshipped during this festival in colourful displays of local dance and hymns.
During the first week of April, the Mon district of Nagaland experiences the arrival of spring with the Aoling Festival, which is celebrated to usher in a good harvest for the Konyak tribe of Nagaland. It is similar to the wildly popular Hornbill festival, except it is celebrated only by the Konyak Nag tribe of this region.
To experience the tranquillity of the North-Eastern landscape, Club Mahindra Gangtok along with Club Mahindra Baiguney and Summit Sobralia brings you unique indulgences. The vividly abstract cultural milieu of this region depicted in all of these vibrant festivals is readily accessible to tourists staying at Club Mahindra resorts of the North-East. Complete with modern luxurious amenities that are well-equipped to provide you and your family the time of your lives, staying at Club Mahindra resorts in Gangtok and Namchi can truly transform your North-East experience and leave you wanting more.
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