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Popular Festivals in North East India



Hornbill Festival 

I have always been awed by India’s cultural diversity. Regional festivals and events hold a range of benefits and thus are crucial to the democratic fabric of our country such as engendering pride in the community, strengthening a feeling of belonging and creating a sense of place. They expose people to new ideas and experiences, encouraging participation in arts, culture and sport activities.

One such region in India with a strong cultural diversity is the North East. A line of festivals are celebrated in this region and all the festivals flaunt the rich culture and present a wonderful opportunity for the people belonging to different tribes and regions to bond.

What makes North East India so amazing is the fact that how distinct it is from the rest of India in terms of culture, dress, topographical conditions, language, and even food. The North East epitomizes what it means to be united in diversity. Each state within the Seven Sisters and one brother is radically different from the others, but they are rarely thought of as separate entities. 

Here are some of the renowned festivals celebrated with folk songs, tribal dances, food, and crafts, which highlights the region’s rich indigenous culture. 

The Hornbill Festival 

Nagaland is known as the ‘Land of Festivals’ and each community celebrates its distinctive festival with zeal and  enthusiasm. Nagaland celebrates the Hornbill Festival to  simulate inter‑tribal interaction and to showcase Nagaland’s cultural heritage.

The festival is named after hornbill, a widely revered bird that as per mythology appears in the majority of the state’s tribes. Nagaland comes together for this week‑long  festival, with people enjoying the colorful performances,  crafts, sports, food booths, games, and ceremonies. There  are also traditional artworks on show, including paintings,  wood carvings, and sculptures. 

Among the festival’s  highlights are traditional naga morungs exhibitions and sale of arts and crafts. Food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower  shows  and sales,  cultural  medley  including songs  and  dances,  fashion shows, beauty contests, traditional archery, Naga  wrestling, indigenous games, and musical concerts are also enjoyed.

Ziro Festival of Music

Every year, a fun music festival is held in the lush valley of  Ziro  in Arunachal  Pradesh. A  large  group  of music fans  come together to express their passion for music. They recline on the  grass while listening to music. Ziro features  30  international  indie  bands  as  well  as  renowned  folk  musicians  from  northeast  India.  It’s  one  of  the  most  popular outdoor music festivals in the country! The festival brings on a common platform India’s most notable musical  performers, as well as a broad audience where colorful culture, music, and art can be experienced wonderfully.  

Chapchar Kut

You will be amazed if you see the men and women dressed  in colorful costumes during Chapchar Kut. The vibrantly  colored clothing that dazzles in the bright light of the sun, which blesses the land with a bountiful crop is hence the most revered god in Mizoram.

Chapchar  Kut  is merriment  associated  with the  golden  harvest that has satiated the fields, endowing  it with  a  sense of fulfillment. The bejeweled women emerge from  their homes and congregate in large numbers to enjoy this  grand occasion. They sing and dance to the melody of the  flute, and the entire procedure is accompanied by a piece  of nostalgic music. The festival is one of the most lavish celebrations in Mizoram.  It’s  considered  one  of  the state’s  biggest  carnivals  that attracts  visitors  from  all  over  the  naon who come to enjoy the vividly colorful celebration.

Myoko Festival

The festival is conducted in Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh in March every year. On a rotating basis, the event is held by three villages in Ziro: Diibo‑Hija,Hari‑Bulla, andHong on the Apatani plateau. It involves rituals done by the local shaman or priest for prosperity, fertility, cleansing, and sacrifice. Many intriguing cultural components such as folk performances and processions are also included. Myoko is a celebration of friendship and peace amongst diverse Apatani communities as well as an effort to keep the spirit of unity alive.

Wangala Festival

It is one of the biggest harvest festivals of the Garo tribe. The celebration, held in honor of the Sun God of Fertility, celebrates the culmination of the sowing season and the agricultural year. Drums are thumped, horns are blown, and traditional dance is practiced. The festival is held in the second week of November each year in Asanang village near Tura in the Garo Hills. The other name for the festival is the 100 Drums Wangala Festival which also includes other attractions like a traditional dance and slow-cooking competitions, indigenous games, handloom and handicrafts exhibition, and so on.