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Meghalaya Festivals

The festivals and dances of the tribes in Meghalaya vary according to the region and tribe. The various dances are an important part of the festivals. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem or the Nongkrem dance, Behdiengkhlam festival and Wangala festival are some of the festivals which are celebrated in the different regions in Meghalaya.

Festivals in Garo Hills
Wangala or the Hundred-drum Festival is the main festival of the Garos. The Wangala Festival is held from November to December. This is a harvest festival celebrated to honour and offer sacrifices to Saljong, the Sun-God of fertility. The festival marks the end of the period of toil in the fields, bringing a good yeild of crops. Everybody whether young and old joins in the festivities. The men beat the drums and move forward in rhythmic union. Doregata Dance Festival is another interesting dance. In this dance, women try to knock off the turbans of their male partners, using their heads. Another dance

Garo Hills Festival

that requires exquisite skill is the Chambil Mesara or Pomelo Dance. This is a solo dance form, in which the performer dangles a pomelo or any other fruit on a cord tied to his waist and then hurls it round and round.

Festivals in Jaintia Hills
Behdienkhlam is the most important dance festival of the Jaintias and Jowais. This festival is celebrated in the Jowai town in July. It is celebrated after the sowing period is over. Youngmen make a symbolic driving away of the evil spirits by beating the roofs of every house with bamboo poles. The climax of the celebrations is the tussle, as seen in a tug-of-war, for a large undressed beam of two groups of people opposed to each other. The Jowais and Jaintias also celebrates another Dance festival called the Laho Dance, where young men and women dance on the beat of drum and music and enjoy.


Festivals in Khasi Hills
The Khasis have two important festivals - Nongkrem Dance and Shad-Suk Mynsiem. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem or the Nongkrem dance, is one of the most important festival of the Khasis. It is held as a thanksgiving ceremony to God, for the good harvest and as a prayer for peace and prosperity in the community. Nongkrem Dance is held annually for five days together in the month of November. Shad Sukmynsiem is another important festival of the Khasis. The Shad Suk Myasiem (Festival of Joyful Heart), is held in Shillong in April. An important part of this festival is 'pomblang' or decapitation of the goats, offered by the subjects to the Syiem of Khyrim. The Syiem is the administrative head of the

Khasi Hills Festival
state. Offerings are made to the ancestors of the ruling clan.


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