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Written by Janani on July 9, 2022 Share on

Festivals of Meghalaya – Into the Celebrations

Meghalaya is one of the 7 northeastern states of India and one of the best places to be there at. Meghalaya when translated, means the abode of clouds. Justifying its name, this state will leave you mystified by the spectacular charm it has’ from cascading waterfalls, lush green forests, deep caves, to its amazing and mesmerising culture. Additionally, festivals in Meghalaya play an important role in the celebration of their life. There are a number of festivals celebrated in Meghalaya, but here are some important ones.

Festivals of Meghalaya

  • Shad Suk Mynsiem
  • Nongkrem Festival
  • Behdeinkhlam Festival
  • Shad Sukra
  • Wangala Festival

Shad Suk Mynsiem Festival

The Khasi Clans of Meghalaya, along with the Jaintia and Garo Clans, celebrate Shad Suk Mynsiem, the most important festival in their culture. This festival is observed annually in April. Renowned as the “Move of cheerful hearts,” it is an extraordinary celebration of dances. It spans three days and is commonly referred to as the ‘Shad Phur’. The festival takes place primarily in the Khasi Hills, near Shillong.

Shad Suk Mynsiem Festivals in Meghalaya
Source: Google Images

Also read: Festivals of Arunachal Pradesh

Nongkrem Festival

The Khasis celebrate the Nongkrem Festival annually in Smit with grandeur and joy. This thanksgiving festival lasts for about 5 days and occurs in either October or November each year. Visitors from around the globe flock to witness Khasi men and women perform the Shad Mystieh dance.

Khasi girls, nongrem festive attire
Source: Google Images

During this festival young virgin girls of the Khasi clan, wear expensive 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 a sword in their right hand perform the Ka Shad Mystieh in the outer circle. This dance symbolizes male power and protection over women. 

Also read: Things to do in Meghalaya

Behdeinkhlam Festival

The Jaintia Clan celebrates Behdeinkhlam, a four-day festival aimed at “Chasing away the Plague” and believed to ward off evils. This festival occurs annually in July during the sowing season when adherents of the Niamtre religion congregate to pray for abundant crops. Various rituals and sacrifices take place during this festival. Men from the Jaintia clan come together to play Datlawakor, a game similar to soccer but played with a wooden ball. Winning the game is believed to ensure a year of bountiful production.

Shad Sukra

This festival is also celebrated by the Jaintia clan. This festival is also celebrated prior to the sowing season; in mid-April or May. They Pnar people seek the blessing of their deity for good produce and pray for the protection of their crops from all the natural calamities.  Rituals and dance are accompanied by the drums and the flute, with women and men dressed in their traditional dresses. 

Wangala Festival

The Garo people celebrate the Wangala Festival, which marks the conclusion of the agricultural year and serves as a thanksgiving festival for Misi-A-Gilpa-Saljong-Galapa, the god of fertility. This festival is now widely recognized as the Hundred Drums Festival. During the festivities, a special drum called Nagara is played, accompanied by graceful dances performed by both men and women. Men typically wear dhotis, half-coats, and turbans adorned with feathers, while women don colorful silk dresses paired with blouses and feathered head-wraps

Wangala
Source: Google Images

The other famous festivals in Meghalaya are Autumn Festival, Strawberry Festival, Ranikor FEstival and Bacardi NH7 Weekender.

Also read: Best time to visit Meghalaya

In a Nutshell

With a reason to celebrate every day, Meghalaya is a beautiful state which has more to offer than what it seems like. If you are visiting at the time of the festivals of Meghalaya, its even special. Are you interested in visiting Meghalaya during the festive seasons? Our Travel Experts are available to help you with more suggestions. Log in to Pickyourtrail.com and avail the best of International packages for your trip to Meghalaya. Happy Travelling!

FAQ’s

What is the most famous festival in Meghalaya?

Wangala Festival is considered to be the most popular festival celebrated in Meghalaya.

Which festival is celebrated in the month of April in Meghalaya?

Shad Suk Mynsiem is celebrated in the month of April. They offer their gratitude to God for all the blessings and harvest. It involves Traditional dance performances and rituals.

What is the speciality of Meghalaya?

Meghalaya is well known for its orchids. There are nearly 325 different types of orchids found in Meghalaya.

Which festival is known as the festival of Tigers in Meghalaya?

Shad Rong Khli is known as the festival of Tigers. Khli means Tiger and Rong means festival.

Which fruit is famous in Meghalaya?

Cherrapunjee Banana, which is a type of Indigenous banana is very popular. Because of its good quality, this banana is highly demanded.

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