India is known in the world for its tradition, variety, uniqueness, and culture. A famous slogan told for India “Unity in Diversity” is proved when you travel through India especially in the festive season. These festivals are so beautiful and grateful that make our life full of colour so we can’t leave without celebrating it.
Nongkrem Dance Festival
People all around the world come to India and go through their traditional clothes and foods and experience great moments of life which can never be forgotten. These festivals are not for a single day, its celebrate through days, weeks and month.
When we go to India’s northeast region we experience rich folklore, festival and culture that attract tourists around the country as well as the globe. Here I introduced you to 5 days long festival of Meghalaya – The Nongkrem dance festival. It is a cultural festival of Hima and a thanksgiving festival held annually by the Khasi tribe at smith 15km from Shillong.
Nongkrem dance festival is one of the best carnivals of India celebrated with tremendous pomp and gratitude. The dance requires willpower to worship God. This festival pays respect to religion. It is a carnival with the tremendous overflow of wealth, sacrifice of animals and religious fervor that become a great experience for the entire state. It brings in the more shades to the lives of Jaintia Hill inhabitants.
In Khasi Hills, the Nongkrem Dance Carnival is also known as Shad Nongkrem and is performed every year at Smit, which is the capital of Khyrem Syiemship near Shillong. There is an important event that is integrally linked to this festival; it is the execution of goats.
The sacrifice of an animal at the Altar is a part and parcel of the ceremony and is known as Pomblang among the people of Khasi Hill. Sacrifices are offered to the forefathers and foremothers of the ruling class, to the reigning God of Shillong Peak.
Drums and Pipes are played continuously during this festival to mark the occasion. The traditional dance is performed by dancers who are the young men and women of the tribe. Important things of this festival are young unmarried women, who come out to dance on the specially prepared festival field with their traditional costumes and heavy gold ornaments.
The young men dressed up with silver or gold crowns worn by the tribes on their heads signify the glory and dignity of the Khasi society. The dance performed by the man is known as “Ka Shad Mastieh”. The men dance by holding the sword in their right hand and whisks in their left.
The sword is used to symbolize a man’s defense of himself and his family. Men wear dhotis, full sleeved shirts, embroidered sleeveless coats, and turbans. Prayers are offered to Ka Pah Syntiew and U Suid Nia Tong Syiem. The prayer is offered for a good harvest, peace, and prosperity for all the community people.
So next time you plan a trip to Meghalaya, do try to be part of this amazing dance festival.