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Sangken festival
is an occasion to bathe the images
of Lord Buddha ceremoniously.
Festval Calendar
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Festival Photo Gallery
/ festivals
Festivals are an indispensable characteristic of the socio-cultural life of the people of the state. As a matter of fact, festivals epitomize the cultures of the many tribes’.
As agriculture is the bastion of the inhabitants, so the festivals celebrated are intimately associated with their occupation. Such festivals are celebrated as thanks giving to the Gods for their providence and offering prayers for surplus harvest. The whole time of the year, festivals are celebrated by some tribe or the other. Some of the important festivals are Solung, Mopin, Losar, Boori Boot, Dree, Nechi Dau, Khan, Kshyat-Sowai, Loku, Longte Yullo, Mol, Nyokum, Ojiale, Reh, Sanken, Si-Donyi and Tamladu.

Animal sacrifices are a common ritual in most of the festivals, mostly in the non-Bodhic tribes. The festivals have been securely blended with the existence of the populaces. Some communities celebrate the festivals to integrate all the isolated secluded villages and the people of the tribe together. Such act of unification exhibits the richness of tribal cultural heritage.

The spring time festivals are celebrated during the period from January to April by the different groups. In the festivals, the religious rites and the sacrifices are generally performed by their priests assisted by some select male members.

The LOSAR, the festival of New Year of the Monpas, is celebrated for five days. On the eve of the festival, people unsoiled their homes to greet the New Year. The filthy homes are considered to symbolise ill health. During the five days of the festivities prayers are offered for prosperity and good health; the festivities include the hoisting of religious flags atop their homes; stopover at friends home and relatives; only Buddhist scriptures are read in every home and butter lamps are lit in houses and the campuses.

Appeasement of the deities, who control the peace and prosperity of the people, is the thought behind the six day celebrations of the Reh festival, essentially associated with the Idu Mishmis. The festival comes to an end with great fanfare and the priest dance performed during the six days is its special attraction.

The Wancho celebrate their most popular festival, Ojiyale during March-April, for a period of six to twelve days interspersed with prayer, song and dance. Villagers exchange bamboo tubes of rice beer as a mark of greeting and good will. Pig's skin is offered to the village chief as a mark of respect.
Another important festival is Tamladu, essentially celebrated by the Digaru Mishmis tribe. During the festival, prayers are offered to the God of Earth and the God of Water for protection against natural calamities. The supreme- Lord Jebmalu, is worshipped and welfare of human beings, the standing crops and domestic animals.

Another is the Khan festival, an occasion for the reunion of the people. Besides the usual festivities, the significance of the festival lies in the ceremony whereby the priest ties a piece of wool around everybody's neck. The belief is that the enchanted thread will bring good luck to each of them. The Mol festival of the Tangsas is also celebrates in the month of April. Mol is celebrated for 3 days in every Tangsa villages. It is pre-harvest festival and celebrated to appease the deity for surplus harvest. The Sapolo dance is the major attraction of this festival.

Sangken festival, is an occasion to bathe the images of Lord Buddha ceremoniously. This also heralds the New Year and people sprinkle water on each other as a sign of merriment. One of the groups celebrates Mopin for wealth, prosperity, good health and universal happiness. Smearing of rice powder on each others' faces marks the beginning of the festival which is celebrated for five days.

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© Amazing Arunachal - 2008-2009 | For further information contact: siddiqui@amazingarunachal.com