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Mopin : 5th of April
The Mopin Festival is an agricultural festival celebrated by the Galo tribe mainly in the East Siang and West Siang districts. It is a celebration of the harvesting season and the new year for the Galo tribe. The official date of the Mopin Festival is fixed on April 5 every year.
Place to visit : Aalo.
Kang : July
Kang is the Rath Yatra or Car festival of Manipur celebrated by the Hindus for ten days in the month of July. Lord Jagannath leaves his temple in a car known as ‘Kang’ in Manipur pulled by devotees who vie with one another for this honour. It is organised by Shree Shree Govindajee Temple board at the Palace Ground in Imphal.
Place of visit : Imphal.
Tuluni : July
The festival of Tuluni is celebrated by the Sumi tribe in July. There is a lot of feasting during this festival as the occasion occurs in the bountiful season of the year. Drinking rice beer is part of the ritual which is served in a goblet made of bamboo. This drink is called Tuluni which gives the festival its name. Tuluni is also called "Anni" the word of which denotes the season of plentiful crops. This midyear festival is a time of communal harmony and merry-making for the Sumi community.
Place to visit : Zunheboto, Dimapur
Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu : 13th - 15th April
Rongali Bihu celebrates the onset of spring. Girls and boys adorn themselves with colourful traditional attire and dance to the rhythm of dhols(traditional drums) and bihu songs. The famous golden muga silk is worn during the Bihu dance which is handwoven. Cultural programs are organized by communities across Assam filled with dance, music, games and competitions. People also prepare traditional sweets and snacks called Pithas and visit friends and families wishing happiness in their lives.
Place : Across Assam
Shad Suk Mynsiem : April
This three day festival is a joyous celebration of thanksgiving of the Khasi tribe usually held in April. The grand finale is the performance of a dance, a Thanks Giving Dance called 'Shad Phur', which is now called "Shad Suk Mynsiem."
Place to visit : Shillong.
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Named after the State bird of Nagaland, Hornbill festival is now one of India's most popular festivals. Apart from traditional music, Danced and sports it also features adventure sports like mountain biking, cycling etc. One of the most popular events is the Rock Concert which features local, national and international bands. Visitors can also take their taste buds on an adventure by tasting local food and drinks. Challenge yourself by trying the hottest chilli 'Ghost Pepper' locally known as 'Bhut Jolokia' or 'Naga Jolokia'. Traditional handmade clothes, jewellery, decoratives and many other things are on display ans sale.
Place to visit : Kohima
Ambubachi Mela :
This is the most important festival of the famous Kamakhya temple of Guwahati held every year during monsoon (mid-June). During Ambubashi the doors of the temple remain closed for three days. It is believed that the goddess menstruates during these three days. The Ambubachi mela is held at the Kamakhya temple complex during this time. On the fourth day only the devotees are allowed to enter inside the temple for worship. Thousands of devotees from all over the country and abroad visit this mela.
Place to visit : Guwahati.
Solung : 01st September
Solung is the most important festival of the Adi tribe. Though primarily an agro-based festival, it also reflects the socio-religious aspects. There are three main parts in the celebration of this festival. First day is Sopi Yekpi the sacrificial day. The second day is Binnyat, the ritual offering to goddess of crops. The third day is Ekop, the ritual made for protection against harms by evil spirits by appeasing to the household guardian and the god of wisdom and human welfare.
Place to visit : Pasighat.
Reh : 01st to 03rd of February
Reh is the festival of the Idu Mishmi tribe. They believe that they are the children of the divine mother 'Nanyi Inyitaya', and to get her blessings and to keep alive this bond they perform the Reh festival. The first day is called 'Andropu' where prayers are offered so that the festival can happen smoothly. The 'Naya' dance is held during the night. The second day is called Eyanli, where mithuns and buffaloes are sacrificed. The third day is called 'Iyili' which is the feasting day.
Place to visit : Roing, Tezu.
Heikru Hidongba : September
Heikru Hitongba is a boat race where long narrow boats race with large number of rowers in them. It is celebrated on the 11th day of the Manipuri month Langban coinciding with September. An idol of Lord Vishnu is installed before the commencement of the race which is held at Sagolband Bijoy Govind moat in Imphal annually.
Place of visit : Imphal
Chapchar Kut : First friday of March
The most important festival of Mizoram, Chapchar kut is celebrated with much joy and fanfare with people adoring their ceremonial costumes on the first Friday of every March. Dressed in their colorful costumes, jewellery, the exotic headgears, people from all tribes of Mizoram celebrate this festival. The most important dance during the celebrations is the famous Cheraw or bamboo dance.
Place to visit : Aizawl.
Ziro Music Festival : September
The Ziro festival of Music is held in Ziro in the month of September every year and now is a prominent music festival in India where musicians from all over the world take part. It was started in 2012 and is noted to be one the most eco-friendly festivals in India employing locally sourced material for the infrastructure constructed by local artisans and made almost completely of bamboo. This 4 day event is India's greatest outdoor music festival. Place to visit : Ziro.
Magh Bihu / Bhogali Bihu : 13th - 15th January
It is the harvest festival of Assam. Festivities include community feasting, worship, traditional games. A house of straw known as bhelaghar is made where the feasting is held known as Uruka. Also a tall structure with wood, straw, bamboo and hay is made known as Mezi which is burnt early next morning worshiping and making offerings to the Fire God(Agni) to protect the village from fire. Special dishes and rice cakes known as Pithas are made by the ladies at home to serve visiting friends and family.
Place : Across Assam
Raas Mahotsav :
The Raas Mahotsav is an annual festival which depicts the life of Lord Krishna presented in the form of dance and drama known as Rass Lila. There are a number of instruments used during the performance apart from various masks, paintings and dances. This festival happens in the full moon day (Purnima) in the months of October-November (Kati- Aghun) during the autumn season and many of the villages in the Island celebrate it.
Place to visit : Majuli.
Thalfavang Kut or Winter festival : November
Winter Festival was originally known as Thalfavang Kut. This three day festival is celebrated in the 2nd last weekend in November with a plethora of activities, games, music etc. Other activities include exhibition of handlooms and handicrafts, traditional dances and music, performances by well-known artistes and bands, carnivals, local cuisines, etc to name a few. The main highlights of the festival is Hot Air Ballooning and Powered Hang Glider.
Place to visit : Turial airfield.
Nongkrem Dance : October/November
One of the most important festival of the Khasi tribe. It is held in Smit near Shillong at the courtyard of the Syiem of Hima Khyriem (chief of Khyriem). It is a five day festival where on the fourth day, young girls wear silk and gold ornaments and dance the Ka Shad Kynthei in the inner circle of the arena, while men dressed in dhoti, full-sleeved shirt, sleeveless coat and a turban with sword in their right hand perform the Ka Shad Mastieh in the outer circle.
Place to visit : Smit.
Torgya : 2nd/3rd week of January
Torgya festival or Dung-gyur, is an annual 3 day festival that is exclusively held in Tawang Monastery. It is held generally in mid January and is a Monpa celebration. The objective of the festival is to ward off any kind of external aggression and to protect people from natural disasters.
Place to visit : Tawang.
Suhkrunye : January
Suhkrunye is the main festival of the Chakhesang tribe and is celebrated to ensure good health of the community during the coming year. It is celebrated on 15th January. During this festival the boys and girls are sanctified through religious ceremonies and rituals. It is a eleven days festival where first five days are for preparations and the other six days are for festivities.
Place to visit : Phek.
Dree : 5th of July
Dree is an agricultural festival of the Apatani tribe, who are known for their sustainable agricultural practices. It is celebrated with feasting and performing folk dances like the Pri-Dances, Daminda and other folk dances.
Place to visit : Ziro.
Doul Utsav / Holi : Feb/March
Doul utsav or Holi is celebrated in the Vaishnavite Xatras of Assam. It is a sect of Hinduism that worships Lord Vishnu. Doul is celebrated in a big way in Barpeta Xatra established by vaishnavite saint Madhabdev in 1505. The idols of the Satra are dressed with new costumes and ornaments, and brought out from the inner sanctum to the courtyard. Holi colors are smeared on the idols and then on each other. Holigeet or folksongs praising Lord Krishna and the beauty of the spring season are performed all the three days.
Place to visit : Barpeta
Chumpha : December
Chumpha is the festival of Tangkhul Nagas celebrated for seven days in the month of December, held after harvest. The last three days are devoted to social gatherings and rejoicing.
Place to visit : Ukhrul.
Yaoshang (Holi) : March
Yaoshang is one of the most important festival in Manipur and is celebrated for five days commencing from the full moon day of Phalguna (February/March). The Thabal Chongba - a kind of Manipuri folk dance, where boys and girls hold hands together and sings and dance in a circle, is particularly associated with this colourful festival. Place to visit : Imphal.
Orange Festival : December
Orange festival also known as The Orange Festival of Adventure and Music (OFAM) in Dambuk is a four day music and adventure festival held every year in the month of December. Nestled deep inside Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Dibang Valley, Dambuk is known to produce some of the best oranges in the country and, hence, the name Orange Festival. It the the harvesting time for oranges and one can stay at an orange orchard and enjoy the festival. Place to visit : Dambuk.
Beh Deinkhlam Festival : July
A colourful religious festival of the Jaintia tribe, Beh Deinkhlam, is celebrated for three days in July at Jowai. The word literally means 'driving away of evil (plague) by wooden sticks'. The people invoke the gods for a good harvest after the sowing has been done and is connected with a series of religious rituals.
Place to visit : Jowai.
Maha Shiva Ratri :
Mahashivaratri is celebrated in Sibsagar in Feb/March, the capital of the erstwhile Ahom kings of Assam where pilgrims visit from all parts of India come to offer puja. A three day International Shiva festival is also organized here in the Shiva temple premises where there are dance performances.
Place to visit : Sivsagar
Aoling or Aoleang: First week of April
Aoling is the main festival of the Konyak tribe. It celebrates the arrival of spring and prays for a good upcoming harvest and coincide with the start of the Konyak New Year. Stretched over six days, the fourth day is the most important day of the festival when members of the tribe dress up in their best traditional clothes and jewellery and spend the day dancing, singing and feasting as a community. The dances they perform symbolize the tribe's history as head hunters before.
Place to visit : Mon.
Losar : February/Early March
The Losar festival in Tibetan Buddhism marks the beginning of the New Year and celebrated in Tawang, West Kameng and Mechuka. This festival is marked with rituals and prayers in Gompas and is the most elaborate of all socio-religious events of the local people. The highlights of the festival are the colourful Aji Lhamu, peacock and yak dances.
Place to visit : Tawang, Dirang, Bomdila, Mechuka.
Anthurium Festival :
The three day Anthurium Festival is the most popular festival celebrated successfully by the tourism department during the peak season of the beautiful and exotic anthurium blossom. It is a three day extravaganza of culture, music, dance, games, fashion show, handloom & handicrafts exhibition and traditional cuisines. It is set against the majestic lush green backdrop of Reiek Mountain in a kaleidoscope of colorful anthurium flowers.
Place to visit : Reiek.
Wangala Festival : November
The Wangala festival is celebrated by the Garo tribe held in November and is a post-harvest festival that marks the end of the agricultural year. It is an act of thanksgiving to the sun god of fertility. A nagara (a special drum used for calling the people on solemn occasions) is beaten. The Wangala Festival goes on in the villages for a number of days, with eating, drinking and merrymaking. The highlight of the festival is when 300 dancers and 100 drums descend on the field in all their splendor in celebration.
Place to visit : Tura.
Ngada : November
The Rengma tribe celebrates Ngada festival on 27th and 28th November every year. It is a post harvest festival to celebrate a good harvest and also to usher the Rengma New Year. Both man and woman dress in their traditional attire celebrate this festival. It is a belief of the Rengmas tht the spirit of the dead visit their graves and the homes of their relatives during this festival and the once who die during the year go to heaven.
Place to visit : Tseminyu.
Sekrenyi : February
Sekrenyi is the main festival of the Angami Nagas celebrated in the last week of February. It is a purification festival where villagers perform rituals to purify the bodies and souls of the villagers and the entire community to safeguard from evil spirits. It also marks initiation of young people to adulthood and is considered an "identity marker of the Angami". The fourth day of the festival marks the new year of the Angamis. It is now celebrated centrally in Kohima now for everyone to enjoy.
Place to visit : Kohima.
Sangken : 14-16 April
This Buddhist festival is the most important festival of the Khampti tribe when they welcome the local New Year. The main attraction of the festival is splashing clean water, which is the symbol of peace and purity. The images of Buddha are taken out and given a ceremonial bath. Then a procession is taken out accompanied by drums, dances and enjoyment. Boys and girls throw water, colour and mud at each other. In the evening, the villagers come to the chong and light lamps. The celebration takes place for three days.
Place to visit : Namsai.
Lai Haraoba : April/May
The spring festival of Lai Haraoba is celebrated in the month of April/ May and is a harmonious blend of stylised and ritualistic dances for peace and prosperity performed in honor of the local sylvan deities in the Manipur valley.
Place to visit : Imphal, Moirang.
Sangai : Last week of November
Sangai Festival is the most important tourism event in Manipur held by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Manipur. It showcases the rich culture and traditions of Manipur, its graceful dances, martial arts, traditional games, local textiles, handicrafts, fashion and music.
Place of visit : Imphal
Monyu : 01st to 06th April
Monyu is celebrated by the Phom Nagas tribe which is their biggest festival. It is from April 01st to 06th every year as it is a spring festival normally observed after the sowing is done in the paddy fields. It is celebrated to invoke God’s blessing to have a bountiful harvest and also marks the end of winter and the onset of the monsoon season. Place to visit : Longleng.
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