Tuesday, August 5

Festivals in Meghalaya

Behdienkhlam Festival

Introduction to the Behdienkhlam Festival

Meghalaya is mainly inhabited by the tribal people and they worship elements of nature as Gods and Goddesses like most tribal people. Behdienkhlam is one such. It is the festival that involves the warding off the evil forces symbolized by the demons. Since Plague is a fatal disease that is feared by the inhabitants of Meghalaya; it is believed that evil resides in the form of disease and needs to be driven off by beating the household roofs with bamboo poles. "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

But it is not at all a dangerous place for the tribal of Meghalaya because they attempt to tee off the evil spirits and so acquire peace and comfort by means of their own endeavor. Plague has taken off copious tribal lives and so is regarded as demon. The women of the Jaintia Hills scarcely take part in dancing because the sacrificial offering to their ancestors depends on them. There is a long ritual procedure for the Behdienkhlam Carnival.

Description of the Behdienkhlam Festival

At the end of the grand celebration there is a fight for a large stripped beam by two groups of men. They congregate in a place known as Aitnar and they sing to the tune of pipes while dancing at the same time; the dancers display tremendous emotional display when the Rots and wooden posts are brought in the pool in front of them. If it rains, then the day is regarded as extremely auspicious.

After this the people unite to a place also known as Mynthong in their best attires to witness a ceremony synonymous to Football. This game is also known as the Dad-Lawakor. The contest is generally held between the Northern and the Southern Groups of people and it is believed that the group that wins would get a Bumper Harvest on the following Year.

Time for the celebration of the Behdienkhlam

The Behdienkhlam Festival is held every year during the months of June and July.

Festivals in Jaintia Hills

Introduction to the Festivals in Jaintia Hills

Festivals in Jaintia Hills The beauty of Meghalaya is not confined to the Garo and the Khasi Hills, the Jaintia Hills also offer synonymous glimpses of eternal landscapes that feature exclusive and magnanimous views of the Paradisal landscape. Numerous Fairs and Festivals are held in Jaintia Hills and it is one of the most reputed tourist attractions in Meghalaya; it is also frequently visited by people across the globe because of its overwhelming and exquisite landscape.

Meghalaya is an abode of clouds and is mainly inhabited by the tribal population. They have been influenced by Hindu Tradition and Culture in the long run. The Fairs and Festivals in Jaintia Hills indicate the tremendous impact of Hindu culture amalgamated with the traditional tribal customs.

Description of the Festivals in the Jaintia Hills

The most significant festival in the Jaintia Hills is the Behdienkhlam and the Laho Dance. The Behdienkhlam is the richly hued religious fiesta that celebrates the advent of new life on earth. There is a legend behind the Behdienkhlam Carnival. It is said that the Jowai clan of Meghalaya got the gift of this magnificent fiesta from the Seven Huts who came down from Heaven and this forthcoming ensured a new life on the earth. There are numerous minor events that are held in Jaintia Hills.

Jowai is usually followed by some small ceremonies and animal sacrifices in honor of God. This is a festival that is supposed to drive out all evils and is celebrated during July. At the end of this festival immersion of a large tree occurs in a holy pond. Sacrifice of trees is the part and parcel of the Behdienkhlam Festival. The Daloi is the other significant carnival that celebrates the harvest season and is regarded as one of the graceful fete held in the Jaintia Hills.

Time for the celebration of the Festivals in Jaintia Hills

Since the Behdienkhlam Festival is held in the month of July, one should visit the Jaintia Hills at July to enjoy the richly hued pageant that inculcates a sense of pride and possession among the Indians and a feeling of trustworthiness among the foreigners.

Nongkrem Dance

Introduction to the Nongkrem Dance

Nongkrem Dance In Khasi Hills you shall come across the magnificent fiestas that are celebrated with tremendous pomp and grandeur. It is a grand carnival that witnesses tremendous overflow of wealth; sacrifice of animals; and an overall religious fervor that seems to grasp the entire state.

Nongkram Dance is one of the superb carnivals that manifests itself with a colorful hue and brings in more shades to the lives of the Jaintia Hill inhabitants. The magnificent Jaintia Hills with its divine appearance enchants the tourists and the ornately tainted carnivals add more luster to the snowy peaks of the Jaintia Hills; Nongkram is no exception to that.

Description of the Nongkram Dance

Nongkram Dance is the religious dance festival in Meghalaya, and is mainly celebrated with tremendous zeal and fervor by the inhabitants of the Khasi Hills. In Khasi Hills the Nongkrem Dance Carnival is also known as Shad Nongkrem and is performed every year at Smit, which is the capital of Khyrem Syiemship near Shillong. There is an important event that is integrally linked to this festival; it is the execution of goats.

The sacrifice of animal at the Altar is a part and parcel of the ceremony, and is known as Pomblang among the people of Khasi Hill. Sacrifices are offered to the forefathers and foremothers of the ruling class, to the reigning God of Shillong Peak and also to the 1st Uncle.

The fiesta is accompanied by dances by young boys and girls. It is worthwhile to mention over here that the boys of Meghalaya are also skilled dancers and sometimes more efficient than their beautiful counterparts. The dance of the men folks is a splendid ceremony and you can observe the men holding yak whisk on one hand and changing beats.

The dance requires tremendous amount of vigor and vibrancy. It is a sort of paying respect to religion and Albert Einstein said “To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.” This is because religion is perceivable in various forms and texture amongst mankind who offer worship to the illimitable power in their simple, amiable ways. Trust is the keyword and Nongkram Dance to please the Almighty is an accurate example of this trust.

Time for the celebration of Nongkram Dance

The Nongkram Dance is celebrated in the month of May, and often in November. This is due to the shifting of lunar position which determines the time for the next Nongkram Carnival.

Festivals in Garo Hills

Introduction to the Festivals in Garo Hills

Festivals in Garo Hills “Beauty is truth and truth beauty”, yes, if you visit the Garo Hills you would just echo Keats like this. Meghalaya is mainly inhabited by the tribal population, who have a specific religion of their own, the influence of Hinduism in Meghalaya cannot be ignores. This is apparent from the Festivals in the Garo Hills which is one of the exquisite places of travel in Meghalaya.

The Garo Hills in Meghalaya is sated with abundant wildlife that attracts many people from across the world. It has formed a valley in the middle, with the Arabella Range and the Tura Range that lie on the either side of it. This beautiful valley is known as the Balpakram Valley. With an amazing landscape, and a gorgeous sunset view, the valley is unique in itself.

Description of the Festivals in Garo Hills

Since Balpakram Valley is situated rightly for wild life survival and wild life propagation, people visit this place not only to witness the marvelous sunset scene, but also the rare and exquisite creatures of the woods that lead a simple but adorable and uncomplicated life. Trekking and Rock Climbing form a part of the tour to Meghalaya and Garo Hills are famous for the Trekking Expeditions.

During November the Wangala Festival in Meghalaya deserves special mention. It is one of the religious fiestas of Garo Hills that is celebrated in the honor of the Sun God also known as the Salijong. It is time when the people of the Garo Hills rejoice the harvest of their well-deserved crops. During the entire year the denizens of the Garo Hills toil in the fields and try to procure a golden harvest at the end of the season. When the time finally comes, like the much awaited incident they sing and dance in the honor of the Sun God to mark the advent of the Golden Harvest finally. This is because mankind usually rejoices in their hard earned success rather than a gifted one. “One of the happiest days of my life is when I made five or six hundred pesos from a crop of watermelons I raise all on my own.”

The Wangala festival in Meghalaya also signifies the onset of the Winter Season and is also known as the 100 Drums Festivals, and it is such an incident when the tribal of Meghalaya offer their sacrifices to the main deity of theirs; he is of course the Sun God who is also known as the Salijong. The main attraction of the Garo Hill is the Siju Caves, and is also known as the Cave of the Bats; the Nokrek which is a canopy of a vast verdant forest.

Time for the celebration of the Festivals in Garo Hills

The time for the celebration of the Wangala Carnival is in November so the best time to visit the Garo Hills would be winter so that one can observe the grand fiesta and also make sure that the wild life of Garo Hills is also enjoyed whole heartedly.

Festivals in Khasi Hills

Introduction to the Festivals in Khasi Hills

Festivals in Khasi Hills "Beauty puts a face on God. When we gaze at nature, at a loved one, at a work of art, our soul immediately recognizes and is drawn to the face of God." The beauty of the Khasi Hills is no exception to this popular notion. When the majestic Umiam Lake stands on your way you are sure to feel the feeling of transcended emotions that is reflected from the cosmic pristine aquamarine expanse.

Khasi Hills with its magnificence welcomes you! The Festivals in Khasi Hills are bound to attract your attention because they are simply superb; colorful, effervescent, immaculate and deftly traditional. The water sport complex is another inspiration that draws the tourists to the resourceful Khasi Hills and cruise boats, paddle boats, speed boats, sailing boats and water scooters are some of the elegant ways of entertainment that Khasi Hills offers to the tourists.

Moreover the Lum Nehru Park is the delightful offset, with its Orchidales and Bird Sanctuary that gives children and adults a gala time! One can visit such places as Cherrapunji and Mawsinram which is the most notable sited for tourist attraction in Meghalaya. The former is renowned for the roaring waterfalls like the Nohsngithinang, the mighty Nohkalikai Falls which is the 4th largest in the world. Mawsinram is reputed or the naturally sloping Shivalinga and is the paradise for the tourists.

Description of the Festivals in Khasi Hills

The main festivals in the Khasi Hills are the Nongkrem Dance which is specific to the Khasi religious sects and is celebrated with tremendous zeal and enthusiasm in Meghalaya. It is a religious fiesta and in Khasi Hills the name of the festival is Ka Pomblang Nongkrem. Another such carnival is the Shad Suk Mynsiem which is a thanks giving fiesta to the Almighty who has blessed the people of Meghalaya with such properties as beauty and elegance; it is also known as the Dance of the Joyful Heart and this impressive event in Meghalaya is also known as Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem.

Time for the celebration of the Festivals in Khasi Hills

The best time to visit Meghalaya is November because most of the popular carnivals are held in that season and the religious festivals in Khasi Hills also falls in that quarter so if you plan for a trip to Meghalaya you must do so in the winter when the snow of the peaks is smeared with the colored of the grand carnivals of the tribal of the Khasi Hills.

Wangala Festival

Introduction to the Wangala Festival

Meghalaya is also known as the Abode of Clouds as the name suggests. It is a principal attraction for the tourists because of exquisite landscape and the wildlife which is the main attraction over here. The Garo Hills are also renowned for the splendid flora and fauna. It is the paradise of the photographers and the Arabella Ranges and Tura Range forms a valley in the middle of the Garo Hills.

The highest peak of the Garo Hills is Nokrek and welcomes the visitors with amazing sunset scenery. Moreover the Siju Caves are located here. It is also known as Dobakhol and is also known as the Cave of the Bats. The labyrinthine chambers are still now shrouded in mystery and undiscovered. But there is a perennial stream flowing out of it and the copious wild life in that water indicates that there are numerous things yet to be revealed.

The interesting thing about this cave is the stalagmite depositions that resemble that of Grotto, in the island of Capri. We remember Somerset Maugham, who created the Lotus Eater; he is said to have died of the beauty of the sight; similarly if you visit the Wangala Festival in the Garo Hills, you would love to live life, and drink life to the lees.

Description of the Wangala Festival

Since the main occupation of the people of Meghalaya is Farming and Agriculture, they generally worship the Lord of Farming and Agriculture who would bless them with loads of blessings. The Wangala Festival is therefore a grand Carnival to celebrate the harvest season. This is because after year long toil the inhabitants find relief in seeing the olden harvest. So, they pay homage to the lord who has blessed them with such a splendid crop and sing and dance to offer worship to the great deity. Wangala Festival is also known as the 100 Drum Festivals because 100 drums are played in reverence to the Lord.

The deity is none but the Sun God who comes out from the east and throws light upon the path of mankind; he enlightens the darkness and a healthy crop is thus accredited to him. The tribal of the Garo Hills also offer worship with dedication and care to the Sun-God by offering sacrifices.

Sun god at Garo Hill is called Salijong and is worshipped for two to seven days at a stretch. He is also regarded as the God of Fertility. Since, “Belief in design in nature is based upon the belief in God” (Chapman Cohen), the people of Garo Hills worship the Sun God.

Time for the celebration of the Wangala Festival

Since the Wangala Festival suggests the onset of winter it is usually celebrated in the Winter Season, at Garo Hills.