Festivals of North East India: Sikkim, Tripura, Manipur, and Mizoram

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North East India Map

Sikkim

Saga Dawa and Losoong Festival

Saga Dawa (May/June)

Celebrated to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha.

Follow 3 teaching of Buddhism:

  • Generosity (dana)
  • Morality (sila)
  • Meditation or good feelings (bhavana)

Losoong Festival (December)

  • Celebrated in honor of the Sikkimese New Year.
  • Celebration of the harvest season by the farmers and other occupational community.
  • Unique point of festival: People drink locally brewed wine, (Chaang) as a part of celebration.

Tripura

Kharchi Puja and Shiva – 14 Dieties
  • Began as a festival of the royal family of Tripura.
  • Presently, even common household also celebrate this festival.
  • Celebrated over a period of 10 year.
  • Celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva, who had ordered people to respect 14 other goddesses.
  • 14 other deities are housed in the Puran Haveli situated in Old Agartala.

Manipur

Manipur Festivals

Ningol Chakouba (November)

  • Celebrated by inviting married daughters to the parental house for a grand feast.
  • ‘Ningol’ means married daughter
  • ‘Chakouba’ means invitation for a lunch at the mother՚s house
  • Fish Fair cum Fish Crop Competition was organized by Fishery Department of Manipur at Khuman Lampak in Imphal.

Yaoshang (February/March)

  • Begins just after sunset in every village with the Yaosang Mei thaba, or Burning of the Straw Hut.
  • Combines Hindu and indigenous traditions of the Meitei people.

Kut (November)

  • Known as the “Chavang Kut.”
  • Celebrated every year on 1st November.
  • Main highlights: The Miss Kut, a beauty pageant, organized during this festival at the 1st Bn. Manipur Rifles parade ground every year.

Sangai Festival (November)

  • Celebrated from 21st to 30th November every year.
  • The ‘Festival’ is named after the State animal, Sangai Brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur.
  • Celebrated to promote Manipur as a world class tourism destination.

Cheiraoba Festival (March)

Another unique ritual attached to this festival is that most people climb on the nearest hill.

Kang Chingba (July)

  • Yatra begins from holy temple of Sri Govindjee situated in Imphal.
  • Idols carved of wood and heavily decorated are carted around in massive chariots, called ‘Kang.’

Mizoram

Mizoram Festivals

Chapchar Kut (February)

  • It is a spring festival celebrated with great fervor and gaiety.
  • Started in 1450 - 1700 A. D. in a village called Suaipui.
  • Folk music, traditional dance and Bamboo dance performances are the major activities.
  • People from various tribal communities participate in this festival.

Mim Kut Pawl Kut (November, December)

  • Celebrated during August after the hard labor of Jhum, amongst extensive fanfare and merrymaking.
  • This festival is supposed to have gathered the spirit of Mizoram in a single sack.

Thalfavang (November)

To promote tourism and protective the cultural heritage of the people.

Meghayala

Meghayala Festivals

Bam Khana (January)

Beautiful colorful ceremony is arranged.

Shad Suk, Mynsiem (April – June)

  • On 14 and 15 April 1911, first “Shad Suk Mynsiem” was held at the spacious Lympung Weiking.
  • Celebration to show the community՚s respect for God.

Shad Nongkrem (July)

  • Khasi: Celebrated with traditional fanfare and fervour.
  • Celebrated in the month of November at the village of Smit.
  • Purpose: Seek blessings of Goddess ‘Ka Blei Synshar’ for a huge agricultural yield and welfare of the people.

Seng Kut Snem (November)

  • Celebrated on 23rd of November every year.
  • Largely celebrated to preserve and exhibit their culture and traditions.

Sillong Autuman Festival (October/November)

  • Event is a means of entertainment and frolic for the people of Shillong.
  • Includes Street carnival, fashion shows, beauty pageants, flower show, kite fying, food and wine, traditional and rock music art. fishing, and golf tournament.

Wangala Festival

  • Indicates the beginning of winter and as a nod to post harvest season.
  • Usually celebrated in the second week of November.
  • Celebrated in the honor of ‘Misi Saljong.’
  • Also unique as music forms a mainstay of their celebrations.
  • Known as ‘100 Drum Wangala festival.’
  • An extraordinary feature is feathered head-gear.

Assam

Assam Festivals

Bihu Three Bihu՚s are:

  • Bohag or Rongali Bihu
  • Kaati or Kongali Bihu
  • Maagh or Bhogali Bihu

Elephant Festival (February)

  • Organized by: Forest Department and Tourism Department of Assam.
  • Aims to increase eco-tourism Begun in the year 2003.

Dehing Patkai Festival (January)

  • Organized by the Government of Assam.
  • Highlights the culture and tradition of the state and attracts many tourists.
  • Various adventure activities, trip to tea gardens, elephant rides and cultural performances are celebrated in this festival.

Raas Festival - (November)

  • Started by the medieval saint Srimanta Sankardev.
  • Glorious past times of the Lord are passed by the Vaishnav religious of the Sattras (monasteries) established by Sankardev.

Ambubachi Mela

  • Dubbed as the ‘Mahakumbh of the East.’
  • Associated with Fertility rituals.
  • Tantric activities conducted during this mela.

Majuli Festival

  • Organized in November by the department for culture under the state ministry of Assam.
  • Organized on a huge scale in an open space or Namghar.
  • Several arts and crafts like Bamboo, artifacts, shawls, beads Jewelry is put for sale.

Nagaland

Nagaland Festivals

Maotsu Festival (May)

  • Marked by peppy songs and dances.
  • One of the symbolic celebrations is Sangpangtu.
  • Whole festival full of merry making and fun is observed for 3 days.

Naju Festival (February)

Most enjoyable and colorful festivals of Nagaland.

Sekrenyi Festival (February)

  • Every day of the festival has specific tasks.
  • Bridge pulling or gate pulling ceremony.

Tuluni Festival (July)

  • ″ Anni ′ is another name for ′ Tuluni ′ meaning the season of plenteous crops.
  • Celebrated to mark the end of dry season and the beginning of new fruits.
  • Symbolizes fraternity, solidarity, sharing and oneness in Sumi and Nagas tribe.

Yemshi Festival (October)

  • Big Yemshe: Observed on a large scale by the villagers collectively.
  • Small Yemshe: Observed by the respective houses.

Lui-Ngai-Ni Festival

  • Mark for seed-sowing season.
  • Festivals of ring communities closer and spread message of peace and harmony.

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh Festivals

Nyokum (February)

  • Nyok means land (earth) and Kum means collectiveness or togetherness.
  • Celebrated by the people from all class and lifestyle for better productivity, prosperity, and happiness of all human beings on earth.

Myoko (March)

Celebrated on a rotational basis by three different tribes namely:

  • Diibo-Hija
  • Hari-Bulla
  • Hong of the Apatani plateau

Solung (September)

  • Symbolizes the socio-religious aspects of Adi community.
  • In September the crops are growing well in the fields and the work is less.
  • It is a festival related to agriculture. So, it՚s celebrated on September.

Torgya Monastery Festival (January)

  • Rich presence of color is one of the main features.
  • Every 3rd year this festival is celebrated on a grander scale and is called “Dung-gyur.”

Dree Festival (July)

During the festival, people offer prayers and offering to 4 main gods:

  • Ramu
  • Metii
  • Danyi
  • Harniang

Unique point: Cucumber is distributed

Chindang (October)

  • Agriculture-based festival celebrated after the harvest by offering prayers and performing rituals like animal sacrifices.
  • Performed for better harvest and prosperous life.

Losar Festival

Celebrated by the tribes who believe in the Mahayana sect of Buddhism like:

  • Sherdukpens
  • Khamba
  • Memba
  • Monpa tribes etc.

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh Festivals

Si- Donyi (January)

  • ‘Si’ means Earth and ‘Donyi’ means Sun.
  • During Si- Donyi, all members of community are kind and generous.

Reh (February)

Idus believe that they are the children of the divine mother ‘Nanyi Inyitaya’

Boori- Boot (February)

  • Boori Boot means to get together irrespective of age, sex, caste to volley the spring and effective harvest.
  • Nibu (priest) performs Puja as well as conduct sacrifice.
  • Young members do all the work under the elders՚ guidance.

Buddha Festival

Organized by Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India and State department of Tourism, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.

Tam – Ladu (February)

  • Spreads the message of unity and cheerfulness.
  • Among all making a friendly feel in the place thereby restoring their age-old ritual.
  • To promote brotherhood and peace.

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