In a culturally rich country like India, Arunachal Pradesh is a state that has a uniquely diverse culture of its own. Arunachal Pradesh is home to various tribal groups, and the different groups have their beliefs and traditions and together form the dynamic and wholesome culture of Arunachal Pradesh.
Festivals are a vital element of any culture. Festivals are a celebration of traditions and beliefs that are crucial to any community. Arunachal Pradesh has a plethora of diverse festivals, courtesy of the different tribal communities of the state. These occasions mark various essential dates, agricultural seasons, and other religious beliefs. The festivals are a great way to experience the authentic and diverse culture of Arunachal Pradesh.
In this article, we bring you the different festivals of Arunachal Pradesh. For those who like to explore the various cultures of our country, read on to learn about the beautiful festivals of Arunachal Pradesh. Those who would like to experience the celebrations firsthand can plan their next trip accordingly.
Siang River Festival
Siang River Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival is also known as the Yomgo River festival. This festival is a celebration of communal harmony in the state and also promotes ecotourism. This festival was a part of the Brahmaputra Darshan festival till 2005. Now, the celebration is notable for the various adventurous and fun activities that are its part. Traditional elephant races, boat races, cultural shows, food stalls, arts and crafts stalls, and Didi, the Mishmis’s mock war game, are essential. The festival portrays the possibilities Arunachal Pradesh as a state has to offer to promote its tourism. The Siang River festival is a great occasion to experience the versatile nature of Arunachal Pradesh’s tourism. The event takes place in December. The people who are keen on witnessing this festival can plan their trip accordingly.
Ziro Festival of Music
All the music lovers, take note of this festival of Arunachal Pradesh. Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh’s take on the famous Sunburn Music festival. The venue of the festival is the Ziro valley. People from across the different North-Eastern states and other parts of the country gather here. Famous national, international, and folk artists perform at this festival. The Ziro Festival of Music is a very versatile event that also features the folk culture of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival takes place for four days. During this time, visitors can enjoy the live music and listen to the state’s folk songs. The Ziro valley also offers its scenic beauty. One can enjoy both nature and art in a hearty combination at this festival.
Pangsau Pass Winter Festival
Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is a modern winter festival that began in 2007. The festival has been gaining popularity since its inauguration. This is a three-day festival, and the venue is Nampong of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival is a way to celebrate the ethnicity of the people of the state. People from across Arunachal Pradesh and the neighboring North-Eastern states put up handlooms and handicrafts to exhibit their craftsmanship. Folk dances and folk songs are also a part of the festival.
The festival extends a beautiful message because there is a designated stall for Myanmar also. The festival highlights the culture and traditions of both the North-Eastern states of India and Myanmar. The event takes place in January every year, and those keen on witnessing such a wholesome occasion can visit the state during this time.
Losar festival is the celebration to welcome the new year. The festival is particular to the Monpa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. Losar is a famous festival in the state. The Monpa tribe has a large population in the Tawang and West Kemang districts, making Losar an important festival. During the festival, people clean their houses, offer prayers, hoist religious flags atop their homes, read holy scriptures, and light lamps with butter. It is a very spiritual and sacred occasion. People worship the local deities for the welfare of society and its people. The festival lasts for eight to fifteen days, during which people indulge in merry-making. Local delicacies and drinks are a must during the Losar. The actual date of the festival varies according to the Buddhist calendar but falls around February to March.
Boori Boot Festival
Boori Boot is a festival that celebrates a good harvest. Hill-Miris in the Upper Subansiri and Lower Subansiri district is the locus of this festival. The festival lasts for three days and takes place in February. The Boori Boot festival contains a very wholesome message. The celebration marks people coming together irrespective of their caste, religion, sex, and age to welcome Spring. The religious side of the festival is to offer prayers to the spirit of Boori Boot to get blessings of prosperity and good health. People from across Arunachal Pradesh flock to the Upper Subansiri and Lower Subansiri districts to participate in the activities and participate in hearty celebrations.
Sanken is a holy festival famous in the Khampti tribe of the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival takes place on the 14th of February and continues for three days to mark the beginning of the new year. During the three days of the Sanken festival, people bathe the idol of Lord Buddha. This holy period is observed by offering prayers and beating drums and gongs. People maintain a very pious lifestyle during the days of the festivities. They refrain from killing animals, having intoxicating drinks, and doing other sinful activities. People sprinkle holy water and exchange greetings after bathing the Buddha idols and sacred shrines. On the final day of the celebrations, the model of Buddha is installed back in its shrine, and a feast takes place.
Nyokum Festival is particular to the Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The celebration takes place for the prosperity and harmony of the people. The event takes place on the 28th of February each year, and the venue is East Kemang district, Lower Subansiri district, Papumpar district, and Kurung Kummey district. Nyokum is made of two words of the native dialect, and its translation is Nyok, meaning land, and Kum meaning people.
It is a two-day celebration when men and women come together to enjoy themselves. Dance, music, and food are quintessential parts of the festivities. Men and women perform the traditional dance by holding hands and forming a circle. The high priest performs the religious rituals and offers prayers for the prosperity of each household. One who visits Arunachal Pradesh during this time of the year can witness the authentic celebrations of the people for the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
The festivals of Arunachal Pradesh signify the rural and pure lifestyle led by the different tribal communities of the state. Each festival is unique and showcases the religious and traditional beliefs of the people. One can enjoy and learn about the vast culture of Arunachal Pradesh by experiencing its vibrant festivals.