Experience the most grand, vibrant & spectacular festivals of North East India
The festivals of North East is profound, and so is its expertise in colourful dances. And hence the festivals in North East India are immensely rich in cultures and colours. Most of the festivals here are inclined towards the agricultural calendar, beginning of their own new year according to the various groups of people and Buddhism and Hinduism. Most of these festivals, extend over a number of days and include delightful folk dances and hearty music. The special delicacies prepared by the locals, loud costumes and soulful music along with the best known hospitability of the tribes is every reason why one should be part of these festivities, in the euphoric environments.
•Bihu, Assam: Assam’s most well known and cultured dance Bihu, following the agricultural calendar, is full of adventures like Dancing in traditional clothes in various forms, preparing special snacks and meals of duck and chicken meat, crafts like the special umbrellas made for rainy agricultural in the paddy fields (japis) and attires (mekhela-chadar), cultural exhibitions, paragliding, boat cruises, canoeing and rafting and beach volleyball, all add to the reasons why Bihu is a must celebrated festival.
•Dree Festival, Arunachal Pradesh: Although mainly originated from the Apatani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, the enormous festive celebrations through dance, women brewing wine and rice/millet beer and other savouries, it has been turned into a modern day relished festival celebrated for good harvest in the world famous, Ziro Valley.
•Hornbill Festival, Nagaland: This festival is a perfection of what people would look up to as a festival. Starting from extraordinary attires to frivolent art, sports, rock concerts, night life, food stalls and crazy contests like “chilly eating” and “pork fat eating”. It is a good time to experience cultural vividness of the 16 Naga tribes in the famous Kimacha village.
•Losoong, Sikkim: Losoong is the Sikkimese New Year and is celebrated each year in the month of December. It is also that time of the year when the farmers celebrate their harvest. Although Losoong Festival is a traditional celebration of the Bhutia tribe, the Lepchas also celebrate it with equal vigour and zeal.
•Ambubachi Mela, Assam: It is the most fascinating, famous and astonishing of all the festivals in North East, and probably the entire India. It is an unique Tantric fertility festival, the Ambubachi Mela marks the menstruation period of the Goddess Kamakhya. Her temple is closed for three days while she menstruates and reopens on the fourth day, with a rush of devotees who come to receive bits of cloth that are supposedly soaked with her menstrual fluid. It's considered to be extremely auspicious and powerful. The festival attracts numerous Tantric sadhus (holy men) from India and mostly abroad. Some of them only appear in public during the four days of the festival. They perform unique rituals and exercises that are widely photographed. The festival is also popular for its rural crafts fair.
•Wangala Festival, Meghalaya: Meghalaya’s Wangala Festival, the biggest harvest festival of the Garo tribe, marking the end of sowing season and agricultural year, worshipping the Sun God of Fertility.
•Nongkrem Dance Festival, Meghalaya: Nongkrem Dance Festival is a way of celebrating the harvest. The festival is celebrated in the month of November each year by the Khasi Tribe, who sacrifices goats as a thanksgiving offering to Goddess Ka Blei Synshar. It is a five day festival in which young men and women dressed in interesting traditional costume perform tribal dance. Nongkrem Dance Festival is held in Smit, which is about 15kms from the famed city of Shillong.
•Chapar Kut, Mizoram: Chapchar Kut, Mizoram harvest festival, with their unique head gears and costumes. The traditional bamboo dance performed by women (while men sit on the ground and beat bamboo sticks against each other), called cheraw, is a big part of the festival.
•Kang Chingba, Manipur: It is the biggest Hindu festival in Manipur. The Kang Chingba festival is celebrated in the month of July each year and is similar to Puri Rath Yatra. It is an 8-day festival, which celebrates the journey of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra. Thousands of devotees throng Imphal during the festival and help pull the massive chariots that carry the deities.
•Aoling Festival, Nagaland : Once deadly headhunters, the fascinating Konyak tribe now lives peacefully, spending most of their time practicing agriculture, drinking local alcohol, smoking opium (and occasionally hunting). After having completed the sowing of seeds each year, the tribe celebrates their most important festival, the Aoling Festival, which marks the beginning of the spring season and a new year.
•Kharchi Puja, Tripura: Kharchi Puja is a popular festival in Tripura. The Puja (worship) was once performed only by the royal households; however with changing times, Kharchi became common to all the houses in Tripura. It is a 10-day long festival that is marked by animal sacrifice and worshipping 14 gods as instructed by Lord Shiva. The festival takes place in the month of July each year in Old Agartala or Puran Haveli, where there is a temple that houses 14 deities.
•Sangai Festival, Manipur : Manipur Sangai Festival is celebrated from November 21 to November 30, and it was first celebrated in the year 2010. Today, it has grown into a world-class festival that celebrates the culture and tradition of Manipur. The festival has been named after the popular brow-antlered Sangai deer that is known to be gentle. One of the main highlights during the Sangai Festival in Manipur is the dance performances. You can witness some classic folk dance performances, namely, Kabui Naga dance, Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance, and more.
•Other fascinating festivals, include Moatsu Festival of Nagaland and Kang Chingba festival, the biggest Hindu Festival of Manipur and many more. For a land of just joyous occasions, who see the brighter side of everything, celebrate and live life to the fullest, acknowledging culture and faith in God and hospitably welcoming their guests, I do not see a reason why one wouldn’t want to be a part of the festivities of North East. And that is the very reason of the existence of Finderbridge, to make you a part of these wonderful festivals.