8 Most Famous Fairs & Festivals of Meghalaya that you must witness at least once

8 Most Famous Fairs & Festivals of Meghalaya that you must witness at least once

Meghalaya is renowned for its stunning natural scenery, vibrant culture, and numerous ethnic groups. Due to the picturesque waterfalls, undulating hills, and lush forests, it is a popular destination for nature lovers and a dream location for those who love the outdoors. Meghalaya is renowned for having a thriving culture, which is evident in its celebrations, music, and dances. A number of indigenous communities with their own distinctive traditions and customs make up the state's diverse population. Here are the eight most famous fairs and festivals in Meghalaya that you must witness.

8 Festivals of Meghalaya you must know about 

To experience the rich tradition and culture of Meghalaya, you need to plan a trip to this beautiful place during some of the famous festivals. We present you with some of the prominent Meghalaya festivals you need to have an idea about.

1. Behdeinkhlam Festival

Meghalaya is home to the four-day-long Behdeinkhlam festival, which is celebrated by the Niamtre-practicing Jaintia clan. It is celebrated before the sowing season and is thought to successfully ward off evils. Various rituals and sacrifices are performed as part of the festival's tradition. 

2. Wangala Festival

The Garo people of Meghalaya celebrate the end of the agricultural year with a 2-day festival called Wangala. This celebration honors Misi-A-Gilpa-Saljong-Galapa, the god of fertility. At this celebration, also known as the "Hundred Drums Festival," men and women dance gracefully to the sound of Nagara. Women wear vibrant silk dresses with a blouse and a headwrap made of feathers, while men wear dhotis, half-coats, and turbans.

3. Seng Kut Snem

Seng Kut Snem is a celebration of the Khasi religion. On November 23, 1899, sixteen young men formed an organization called the Khasi Young Men’s association to preserve the indigenous way of life under assault by the British. Thus, Seng Kut Snem was first celebrated as the first anniversary of the Khasi young men’s association. The association was renamed Seng Khasi in 1901 and is celebrated every year to commemorate the movement. 

4. Shad Suk Mynsiem Festival

"The Dance of Peaceful Hearts" (Shad Suk Mynsiem) is performed every year in April. Shad Suk Mynsiem is an agrarian festival that celebrates hope for the new year. The dance and accompanying music are the most visually appealing aspects of Shad Suk Mynsiem. Witnessing the dance performance and the arrangement of dancers on the spot is one way to learn about the unique matrilineal societies that host this celebration. The maidens' dance symbolizes the important roles they play in the village. They play a pivotal role as the keepers of the clan's lineage, home, and hearth. The men in turbans and other ceremonial garb protect the female dancers by surrounding them with weapons like the waitlam (a sword) and the symphiah (a ceremonial whisk). All the attributes of a man are represented by the arrows in his quiver. Men in Hynniewtrep society play an advisory, leadership, and protective role, all of which are reflected in the ritual nuances of the Shad Suk Mynsiem.

5. Nongkrem Dance Festival

The 5-day Nongkrem Festival is one of the most well-known festivals among the Khasi people. It attracts a lot of outsiders every year. Every year, Syiem leads the rituals for this festival, which is celebrated with great fanfare in Smit. As the leader of the Khasi people, Ka Syiem Sad is entrusted with the care and upkeep of all rituals and citizens. This festival honors the gods of harvest, prosperity, and tranquility in the hopes of bringing these blessings to the people. While young women perform the Shad Kynthei, men perform the Shad Mystieh in a circle around them. Men's protective and domineering circle around young women is a powerful symbol.

6. Shad Sukra

The Jaintia people of Meghalaya celebrate an annual harvest festival called Shad Sukra just before the planting season. The planting of seeds awaits the start of this celebration. Men and women alike dress in traditional garb adorned with gold for this celebration. They pray for protection from natural disasters and a bountiful harvest. Furthermore, men and women engage in rituals, dance, and music accompanied by drums and flutes.

7. Cherry Blossom Festival

During the month of November, Meghalaya is awash in a sea of pretty pink cherry blossoms. The pinking of the state capital and the East Khasi Hills heralds the arrival of the Indian autumn brought on by these lovely flowers. The Himalayan cherry blossoms bloom in the fall, which is why November is the designated month to celebrate them with a festival. There are a ton of things to do, from participating in a beauty pageant to listening to live music to participating in a storytelling session to participating in a bicycle rally, etc., all while learning about and appreciating the local arts and crafts.

8. Shillong Autumn Festival

The Shillong Autumn Festival is a well-known celebration in Shillong that is held each year to celebrate the arrival of autumn. The city becomes a hub of excitement, drawing in many sightseers. You can experience everything from music performances to wine and food festivals to flower shows and the display of handicraft items.

8 Most Famous Fairs & Festivals of Meghalaya that you must witness at least once
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