(Last Updated on : 09-07-2014)
The 'Seven Sister' states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura constitute the northeastern part of India. People living in the villages of these states celebrate a variety of colourful festivals throughout the year. As most of the villages are predominantly populated by the tribal communities, the northeastern India is the best place to experience the rich tribal culture. The northeast Indian village festivals are famous all over the country for their uniqueness and also for their rich tradition and customs.
The northeast Indian village festivals are full of enthusiasm and exuberance and they exhibit the true spirit, tradition and lifestyle of the people of the region. Every social community in the region has its own tradition and culture and celebrates a variety of fairs and festivals round the year. The festivals are of different types or nature that include agricultural, religious and socio-cultural and they give the people ample opportunity to enjoy and socialise.
Chapchar Kut or Spring Festival is one of the most important northeast Indian village festivals and is mostly celebrated in Mizoram. The Mizo people celebrate this festival after completing the most arduous task of jungle clearing for Jhum cultivation. Men and women of all ages assemble and perform various folk dances and sing traditional songs in this occasion. They also wear their traditional dresses and headgears. The folk dances and songs are often accompanied with the instruments like drums, gongs and cymbals. Another major northeast Indian village festival is Moastu. This festival is mainly performed by Ao Naga in the villages of Nagaland and they celebrate it after the sowing. The people worship the village deity, sacrifice animals and perform folk dance and music during this festival.
The villages of Tripura in northeast India are well known for celebrating various tribal festivals throughout the year. The festivals in Tripura are counted amongst the most colourful northeast Indian village festivals and they are celebrated in a unique style. Kharchi Puja is one of the major festivals celebrated in the villages of Tripura. People worship 14 Gods during this festival and it is held every year in the month of July. The Kharchi Puja attracts people from all over India. Another major northeast Indian village festival is the Ker Puja. This is celebrated 15 days after the Kharchi Puja and this unique festival is celebrated for the welfare of the people. Songs and dances are very much essential parts of all these northeast Indian village festivals. The festivals like Poush Sankranti, Ashokashtmi, Garia, Ker Ganga, Gajan, etc. are also considered the major festivals in the villages of Tripura.
One of the major northeast Indian village festivals is the Yaoshang. This is the premier festival celebrated in the villages of Manipur and this five-day long festival starts from the full moon day in February-March. A particular type of Manipuri folk dance named Thabal Chongba is the special attraction of this festival. The Manipur New Year, Cheiraoba is also a major northeast Indian village festival. It is celebrated in the month of April and the villagers clean and decorate their houses and prepare special festive dishes on this occasion.
Wangala or the Hundred-drum Festival is the most important festival celebrated by the tribal community, Garos in the villages of Meghalaya. This festival is also counted amongst the most important northeast Indian village festivals.
This harvest festival is celebrated in honour of Sun God and is held in the months of November and December. Another important northeast Indian village festival is Ka Pemblang Nongkrem Dance, popularly known as only Nongkrem Dance. This is held annually for five days by the Khasi tribes. Behdienkhlam is the premier dance festival celebrated by the Jaintia tribes in the villages of Meghalaya. This festival is celebrated once the sowing period is over.
All the major festivals celebrated throughout India are celebrated in the villages of northeast India. The festivals like Durga Puja, Diwali, Holi, Dussehra, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Muharram, Christmas, Buddha Purnima, Mahavir Jayanti, Gurupurab, etc. are celebrated with much pomp and gaiety in the northeast Indian villages. The northeast Indian village festivals are full of entertainment colour, music and cheerfulness. Most of the festivals are related to agriculture or have mythological significance and the villagers enjoy them greatly.