nongkrem dance festival
DatesTo be Announced
The state of Meghalaya is well-known for its rich heritage and colorful traditions. The tribal community of Meghalaya celebrates numerous festivals which are believed to bring peace and prosperity to the community. The major festivals of Meghalaya include Shad Suk Mynsiem, Wangala, Laho dance festival, etc. Apart from these traditional festivals, the state is also known for its popular modern festivals such as Autumn festival, Strawberry festival, Cherry blossom festival etc. This is the reason why many of the tourists come and visit the state to observe the multi-ethnic and multi-religious state with a number of colorful festivals.
Nongkrem dance festival is an annual festival of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya. The festival lasts for five days and is generally celebrated in the month of November. The festival takes place in Smit, which is the cultural center of the Khasi hills and is about 11 kms away from the capital city Shillong. This indigenous dance festival is celebrated in order to honor the powerful Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for blessing the people of the community with good harvest and prosperity. An important element of the festival is that virgin women get dressed in their traditional dresses with heavy gold ornaments and perform a dance in a specially arranged festival field.
The Nongkrem festival starts with a goat sacrifice ceremony as the word Nongkrem means ‘goat killing ceremony.’ In this ceremony, the priests perform a Pemblang ceremony after which offerings are made to the ancestors of the ruling clan to the deity of Shillong peak.
During the Nomgkrem dance festival, traditional dance is performed by the young men and women of the Khasi tribe. They dress in their ethnic wears and perform their traditional dance in order to show their honor to their God and ancestors.
The dance performed by the men is known as “Ka Shad Mastieh,” where they dance by holding swords in their right hand and whisks in their left hand along with the beats of the drums and the playing of tangmuri or pipes.
The dance performed by the women is known as “Ka Shad Kynthei” which is performed in the inner circle while the men perform their dance in the outer circle.
The local people also set up small local markets where they display and sell handicrafts crafted by them. They also prepare local foods such as jadoh, tungrymbai, ja stem, dohkhlieh etc. and this is the best time for the tourists to visit Meghalaya and enjoy the local dishes and also witness the beautiful and rich tradition and culture of the state.
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