The Festivals of Arunachal Pradesh
The festivals of Arunachal Pradesh include Losar Festival, Torgya Festival, Saka Dawa, Dukpa Tse-Shi, Lhabab Duechen, Ganden Ngamchoe, Nyukom Yullow, Mopin Festival, Solung Festival, Reh Festival, Oriah Festival, Dree Festival, Tamladu Festival, Khan Festival, Mol Festival, Sanken Festival, Monpa Festival, Myoko Festival, Mlokom Yulo, Murung, Siron Molo Sochum, Si Donyi, Boori Boot, Nyokum and Jomu, Chosker. Some of the festivals have been discussed in brief below:
Reh Festival: Reh festival is celebrated for six days. It is essentially associated with the Idu Mishmi tribal people and requires a number of sacrificial buffaloes. The arrangements of this festival have to be made four or five years prior to the actual celebrations, as it is quite an elaborate and expensive affair.
Losar Festival: The New Years Day in the state of Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated as the Losar Festival for a span of consecutive five days. During this festival the people indulge themselves in cleaning their household to welcome the new year and to usher out the old. During these five days prayers are offered for good health and prosperity. People also opt for hoisting religious flags atop their homes during these festive celebrations. Buddhist scriptures are read in almost all homes and butter lamps are lit in almost all houses and the campuses.
Tamladu Festival: Tamladu Festival is one of the ancient festivals of Arunachal Pradesh and is observed in the Lohit District of the state. This festival is celebrated on the 15th of February and essentially forms a part of the festive celebrations of the Digaru Mishmis. During this festival prayers are offered to the ‘God of the Earth’ and the ‘God of the Waters’. Tribal dance and traditional customs make the festivals even more attractive towards the tourists as they get the opportunity to enjoy the old heritage of the state.
Khan Festival: Khan Festival of Arunachal Pradesh bears a unique tradition and encourages all the locals to participate in it irrespective of caste and creed. This festival is mainly of the Mijis, one of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Khan Festival is essentially observed as a religious festival where the holy priest ties a holy thread around the neck of the natives.
Saka Dawa Festival: Saga Dawa festival of Arunachal Pradesh is mainly celebrated by the Buddhist sects of the state. It is believed universally that on this very day Lord Buddha achieved ‘Enlightenment’. The Buddhists carry the holy book of Buddhism and from the Tsuklakhang Monastery the procession goes around the city with the holy teachings of the Lord.
Mopin Festival: One of the tribal groups of Arunachal Pradesh, the Gallong community celebrates the Mopin Festival to please the Goddess of welfare, wealth, peace, prosperity and wisdom. This festival is celebrated for a span of five days in order to get rid of natural calamities, diseases, effects of evil spirits and for good harvest, wealth, health and prosperity. The smearing of rice powder on each other’s faces commemorates the beginning of this festival.
Monpa Festival: Mongpa Festival reflects the true tradition of the state as well as that of the Monpa tribe. This tribe follows the lunar calendar and hence this festival is celebrated according to the dates of the lunar calendar. This festival is generally associated with harvest and is celebrated to ask the favour of the Almighty on granting of his blessings for the health of the crop.
Solung Festival: It is the main festival of Adi tribal people. The celebration continues for five days. Solung is celebrated to reap a rich harvest after the sowing of seeds and plantation of paddy plants.
Myoko: It is a highly solemnized community festival of the Apatani society. It is observed for the general well being of the whole Apatani society. It is celebrated every year during the month of March and lasts for the whole month.
Dree: It is again the festival of the Apatanis. They observe the festival by sacrificing domestic fowls, animals and eggs in different times, starting from the sowing to the harvesting periods for ensuring prosperity. During Dree festival, a few rites are performed to worship and appease Gods and Goddesses, who protect the crops, and ensure well-being of men.
Mlokom Yulo: It is one of the major festivals of Bangnis. It is the only festival which is celebrated annually in every village on a community basis in the Bangini months of Lakhang and Leehar corresponding to the English month of March and April. The festival is celebrated for five days, but occasionally the period may extend to seven days depending on the result of divination done by a local priest by examining the liver of a foul and the yolk of an egg.
Si Donyi: This festival is the most significant festival of the Tagins and is celebrated in January. Si signifies the earth and Donyi is the sun. People believe that, the sun, the moon, the earth and the natural elements around them play a vital part in their day to day functions.