11 Amazing Festivals Of Arunachal Pradesh (2020)
Arunachal Pradesh is a state known for its rich culture and traditions. The festivals form a significant part of that cultural heritage. If you are lucky enough to be visiting the state during the time of a festival, make sure not to miss the beautiful and engaging festivals. Each festival of Arunachal Pradesh has its own belief or story integral to the people of the place.
11 Amazing Festivals Of Arunachal Pradesh
1. Siang River Festival (Yomgo River Festival)
To celebrate the communal harmony in Arunachal Pradesh, Yomgo River Festival(Siang River Festival) is held annually. It is the main one of the most popular festivals of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival was earlier celebrated as Brahmaputra Darshan Festival in Tezu and Pasighat, but since 2005, this festival is celebrated as Siang River Festival in Tuting, Yingkiong and Pasighat. The festival offers adventure activities like elephant race, traditional boat race, River rafting, Food Festivals, Folk dances, Cultural Shows, Hot air balloon Paragliding. Along with this, a handloom and handicrafts exhibition is also organized by different districts.
Time of celebration:February
2. Pangsau Pass Winter Festival
It is a popular winter festival of the Arunachal Pradesh state which is celebrated in Nampong in Changlang district. It is a three-day festival celebrated in January every year. The festival celebrates the ethnicity and folk songs and dances of the state. An exhibition of handicraft and handloom articles is also held. The festival showcases the culture and tradition of the state, and along with it, it also displays the culture of neighbouring country Myanmar.
Time of celebration: January
3. Ziro Festival of Music
Ziro Festival of Music is the biggest and most happening outdoor music festival in Arunachal Pradesh. The festival is Arunachal’s Sunburn Festival. The festival invites music lovers from all over the place and other northeast states. The festival is held for four days, where one can enjoy the performance of both domestic and international music artists. The music and the amalgamation of different cultures make for a great experience and memory.
Time of celebration:September
Solung is an agriculture festival of Arunachal Pradesh held in monsoon month. The festival is celebrated for ten days and is one of the most popular festivals in the state, celebrated especially by the Adi community. There is no fixed date for the festival, and Kebang or the village council decides the date as per the convenience of the villagers and after the date is fixed the people start preparing the rice beer – Apong. The festival sees the slaughter of Indian Bison along with pigs on the first day then one-third of the meat is distributed among the relatives, and a grand dinner is organized for the neighbours on the next day. Every day, there is an activity that takes place during the festival. On the final day, the people of the village uproot the weak plants of paddy that are spoiled by worms and insects with the hope that ‘Kine Nane’ (the Goddess) will take away all the worms and insects out of the fields.
Time of celebration: September
5. Losar Festival
The festival is celebrated by Monpa tribe to welcome a new year. The festival is celebrated in Tawang, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Arunachal Pradesh, is best visited during the festival time. The festival is usually held in February or in early March and is celebrated for about 8 to 15 days. During the festival, people clean their homes, offer prayers and religious flags are hoisted atop each house; people read holy scriptures and lit lamps with oil in houses. The Monpas worship their local for the welfare of society and the people. It is the time when people celebrate the local delicacies and drinks.
Time of celebration:February/March
6. Sanken (Sangken)
Sanken festival is celebrated on 14th February and is an important religious festival in Arunachal Pradesh. Although entire Arunachal celebrates it, majorly it is celebrated by the Khampti tribe of Lohit district. The festival is celebrated for three days in which people bathe the idol of Lord Buddha. It also marks the beginning of the New Year. People offer prayers for well being if all by beating if drums and gongs. Indulgence in any kind of killing animals, taking intoxicating drinks is prohibited during the festival. Also, manual work, gambling, and even cutting trees is not allowed during the festival. The final day witnesses the installing of the idol of Lord Buddha back in the main temple followed by the organization of a community feast.
Time of celebration:14th February
7. Dree Festival
The festival is celebrated with full zest and zeal by the Apatani tribe of Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. An ideal place to see the celebration of Dree is Ziro. The festival sees the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the Gods and people offer prayers to the deities of Tamu (to protect plants from harmful pests and insects), Metii (to control epidemics and famine), Danyi (to protect and for the prosperity of humanity) and Harniang (to ensure the fertility of crops and plants from getting dried). During the fest, a local beer called Apong is prepared by each house. The high priest (Nyibu), decides the venue for the worship, often a place near the paddy fields.
Time of celebration: July
8. Boori Boot
It is a festival of gratitude for the successful harvest in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival is held for three days and is celebrated by the Hill-Miris community in February. Boori Boot is a get together irrespective of caste, creed, age and sex which aims at celebrating the arrival of spring. It also sees people offering prayers to the spirit of Boori Boot to blesses them with prosperity and keep them disease-free. The rituals and the sacrifice (on behalf of people) are performed by the high priest who is known as Nibu. The festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Time of celebration:February
It is a festival of the Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh and is celebrated on 28th February every year. The festival is celebrated for the harmony and prosperity of the people. During this two day festival, people enjoy by singing, dancing and get together. Men and women perform the traditional dance. The high priest performs the significant rituals and offers prayers to the spirits to bring harmony and prosperity to all.
Time of celebration: 28thFebruary
Loku festival is celebrated to bid farewell to winters by the Nocte Tribe of Tirap district. It is an important agriculture festival. The days of the waxing moon decides the date of the festival, which is confirmed by the elders of the community. It is celebrated for three days, where animals like pigs are slaughtered for meat in first day and arrangement of preparations on the next day. The people wear their traditional costumes during the festival. There is a mandatory ritual that every household performs Chamkat for its male members who have attained adolescence on the day of Chamkatja. On the final day, all the villagers irrespective of sex, age or social status take part in the local folk dances. The dancers are invited to the houses of the families who have observed Chamkat to perform at their house, and in return, they are offered food and drinks. People also visit their relatives and friends during this time.
Time of celebration: Not fixed
11. Bascon Festival
The BASCON festival is celebrated by the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh every year in November. The festival celebrates the culture and heritage of the Galo Tribe. It is held for three days with active participation from all members. Vibrant dances are an integral part of the ceremonies of the festival.
Time of celebration: November