6 Incredible Festivals of Meghalaya (2023)
Meghalaya, the northeastern state of India, is endowed with beautiful mountains and landscapes which cover most of the region. Ancient caves and the enchanting waterfalls add to the beauty of this divine state. Many ethnic groups contribute to the population of Meghalaya, and each has its own religious and cultural beliefs.
The people of Meghalaya are always warm and welcoming and enjoy all festivities with great excitement and enthusiasm. The celebration is incomplete without the folk music and dance that makes the event lively and joyous.
6 Famous Festivals Of Meghalaya
1. Nongkrem Festival
It is the most important festival for the Khasi group. Syiem, the head of the Khasi state, and ka Syiem Sad perform the rituals as they are considered the caretaker of the ceremonies and the people. Nongkrem festival is celebrated for the good harvest, peace, and prosperity of the people. The young women perform the Shad Kynthei, and the men circle them while performing the Shad Mystieh, which is known to be a symbol of male power and protection over the women. A lot of people throughout the world visit this place to be part of Nongkrem festival in Meghalaya.
Time of the month: Autumn season (generally November)
2. Shad Suk Mynsiem
The individual family clans or the Khasi state (Hima) conducts the ceremonies. A dance performance takes place, which signifies the matrilineal and patrilineal structure of the Khasi society. The unmarried girls dressed in their traditional best, dance while the man circles the women in their lashing out swords and whips. This dance form signifies that man is the protector of the women and her honor.
Location: Weiking Grounds
Month of Celebration of this Festival in Meghalaya: April
3. Shad Sukra
This festival of Meghalaya is celebrated by the Jaintia people every year before the sowing season. The sowing of seeds takes place only after this festival. The rituals and dance along with the music, are performed to pray for a fruitful and good harvest. Men and Women participate in the Shad Sukra festival in their traditional outfits and are covered in heavy gold ornaments.
Location: Jowai Town, West Jaintia Hills
Month of celebration: April/May
4. Behdeinkhlam Festival
This festival of Meghalaya is celebrated by the Jaintia people of the Niamtre religion for three days. It is one of their most important festivals which is celebrated before the seed sowing season. All ceremonies and rituals are performed by the priest, along with the beating of drums and flute. Men play the drums and flutes, and women watch the men perform dressed in traditional attire with gold ornaments.
A tree trunk wrestling that is chosen carefully is the main event, and the significance is believed to bring good luck to whoever touches it. This festival gathers a lot of visitors and crowds in Meghalaya due to its colorful bright events.
Location: Jowai town and villages of Jaintia Hills.
Month of celebration: July
5. Wangala Festival
This festival of Meghalaya is celebrated post-harvest to mark the end of the agricultural end by the Garo people. It is a way of thanking God of Fertility for the good harvest that has been produced. Wangala festival is also famous by the name of ‘The Hundred Drums festival.’ Boys and girls dance with synchronized steps and gesturing movements. A festival that is now celebrated in both traditional as well as modern commercialized manner.
Location: Garo Hills
Month of Celebration: September to December
6. Strawberry Festival
This festival is celebrated by the Meghalaya state to promote the farming of the fruit. The state has a perfect climate for the cultivation of strawberries, and this is the reason for the government encouraging the farmer to promote the production of this fruit. The strawberry festival is not only for families to enjoy and be a part of it but also to contribute to the growth of the local farmers and support the state’s economy.
Month of celebration: February (Valentine’s Day)