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Assam Festival Manipur Meghalaya

Gaan Ngai festival celebrated by The Zeliangrong Community

The Zeliangrong community celebrates the Gaan Ngai festival. For the Kabui/Rongmei Naga tribe, Gaan-Ngai is the prime festival out of many festivals celebrated. It is mainly performed by the devotees and followers of Zeliangrong Indigenous religion of ‘Heraka’ and ‘Tingkao Ragwang Chap-Riak’ cults.

THE COMMUNITIES CELEBRATING GAAN-NGAI

The Zeliangrong community primarily inhabit the northeastern Indian states of Manipur, Assam, and Nagaland.

ALTERNATIVE NAME

The Gaan Ngai festival is also known as Chakaan Gaan-Ngai among the Zeliangrong Nagas.

THE FESTIVAL

Gaan-Ngai Festival

Gaan-Ngai is a post harvest festival. It is held annually.

  1. To mark the end of harvest season.
  2. To organize sports and games for the youth of the village in stone throwing, long-jump, race on the opening day of the festival with Hoi procession through the village.
  3. To mark the heralding of the new year and new fire is produced by rubbing of dry wood and split bamboos pieces. and the new fire is distributed to every household.
  4. To perform commemorative dances for those who are declared queen and kings of the Phaak (a kind of grass) after a trekking competition in a nearby hill or mountain peaks (long—Luimei).
  5. To worship Tingkao Ragwang, the Almighty God as a thanks-giving for the good harvest and prayer for a successful and long life in the coming year.
  6. To the girls who are going to be married.
  7. To those members of the dormitory who died in the previous year.
  8. To those members of the male dormitory of the rank of Khangbon who are given farewell.
  9. To organize a feast of the womenfolk and other ranked institutions.
  10. To organise singing competition of folk songs between boys and girls at girls’ dormitory.
  11. To perform the sacrifice and worship for the deities of the village.
  12. To perform the art of Drum Beating to different types.
  13. To perform rituals and rites such as Raren Loumei i.e. the worship of all the Gods on the last day.
  14. To teach the boys and girls how to maintain strict discipline in the society by the elders.

THE ZELIANGRONGS

The socio-cultural agricultural fest of Chakaan Gaan-Ngai is the principal annual event among the followers of the indigenous Rongmei community.

It is celebrated in the Rongmei lunar calendar of ‘Gaan-Bu’. According to the Gregorian calendar, Gaan-Ngai falls in November-December.

On the other hand in Manipur, Gaan-Ngai is celebrated on the 13th day of ‘Wakching’ (according to the Meetei Manipuri Calendar)

The writer — Nilutpal Gogoi is an entrepreneur, senior journalist, writer, translator (from Assamese to English & vice versa), avid traveller, British English Accent & grammar trainer, educationist, and martial arts (Taekwondo) practitioner.

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Assam Festival Meghalaya

Rongker Festival of the Karbis of Meghalaya and Assam

Rongker Festival is observed by the Karbis of Meghalaya and Assam in India.

TIME:

Rongker is an annual winter time festival.

ETYMOLOGY:

‘Rongker’ is also known as ‘Dehal’ in Ri-Bhoi District of Meghalaya and Kamrup Metropolitan District (‘Dumra Longri’ in Karbi language) in Assam.

PURPOSE:

rongker festival deities Prayer

  • Rongker Festival is celebrated to appease the local deities.
  • This festival of merriment is celebrated for three prime purposes.
  • It is observed to seek blessings from the local deities for a bountiful harvest of crops, rid the villagers of all omen and evil happenings, as well as for welfare of the villagers.

DURATION

The Rongker celebration is held for three days.

THE SITE SETUP

The set-up of the Rongker prayer site is prepared with utmost respect and attention to details.

THE TEN EARTHEN ALTARS

At the Rongker prayer site, the Karbis set up ten earthen altars.
Each of these 10 earthen shrines is dedicated to the 10 of the 12 deities of the Karbis.

DIRECTION OF THE TEN EARTHEN ALTARS

These 10 earthen altars are installed on the eastern side of the site where Rongker is to be observed.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE ALTARS

The altars of Rongker are constructed in a row. They are placed heading the south-north direction. The 10 earthen altars are christened after the deities.

SHAPE OF THE ALTARS

The 10 earthen altars are shaped in such a way so that the respective deities are able to rest comfortably there.

WHY ONLY 10 EARTHEN ALTARS

There is a reason as to why only 10 earthen altars are constructed whereas in the Karbi pantheon of deities there are 12 deities.

This reason is that the Karbis deem the two deities – Hemphu, and Rasinja – as siblings (brother and sister).

On the other hand, the deity – Mukrang – is the husband of Rasinja. Therefore, the sibling deities Hemphu, and Rasinja as well as the deity Mukrang share a common shrine.

THE GOURD & RICE BEER

Rongker Festival Rice Beer

For observing Rongker Festival, the Karbi priests choose 10 gourds with tapering mouths. The 10 gourds are filled with the first-made rice beer. Then the rice beer- filled gourds are placed on the Rongker altars. Each rice beer-filled gourd is offered in the name of the respective gods.

VARIOUS ITEMS USED DURING RONGKER

Mentionably, nothing else except the gourd (full of rice beer), is placed on the altars.

EXCEPTIONS:

However, branches and leaves of particular plants and a tree are utilised while constructing the altars of Rongker deities.

For instance, bamboo are placed on the altar of Ningding Sarpo. Similarly, the Karbi priests erect a few bamboo sticks and also place some branches of Basil on the altar dedicated to the deity, Murti.

On the altar of Arlok, the Karbi priests place a branch of Fongrong (a locally available tree who’s branches are deemed holy).

THE RONGKER RITUALS:

The Karbi priests observe various rituals while observing the Rongker celebrations in the four parts of ‘Sadi’, ‘Karkli’, ‘Kurusar, and Rongphu-Rongling-Kangthin.

SADI

In the ‘Sadi’ process, the Karbi priests invoke all the 12 deities.

KARKLI

While performing the ‘Karkli’ process of Ronger celebrations, the Karbi priests worship the Karbi deities in two methods.

These two worshiping methods are known as ‘Kibo-kaba’ and ‘Koi-abida’.

In the first worshipping manner of ‘Kibo-kaba’ while performing ‘Karkli during the Rongker celebrations, the Karbi priests offer meal to the Karbi deities. On the other hand, while performing the ‘Karkli manner of worshipping during the Rongker celebrations, the Karbi priests offer areca nuts and betel-leaves to the deities.

Mentionably, the entire man folk of a Karbi village participate during these ‘Karkli’ celebration during Rongker.

It is the duty of all males of each Karbi hamlet to bring all the required items to the site where the Rongker generations are to be held.

The male folk of the Karbi villages gather at the predetermined site of Rongker festivities in the morning. Then, each of them deposit the articles with the appointed person at the Rongker site.

KURUSAR

The ‘Kurusar’ is the main priest of the Karbis.

Hence during the Rongker festivities, the principal task is performed by the main Karbi priest.

Of course, the ‘Kurusar is assisted by a number of other specialists adept in the Karbi religious rite and rituals.

THE RONGKER SPECIALISTS:

During the Rongker festivities, the ‘Kurusar’ plays a very prominent role.

Besides the ‘Kurusar’, the other specialists of Karbi religion are the Gaon Burah (village headman), the group known as ‘Thek-kere’ (elderly villagers who are versed in the processes of worshipping the Karbi deities), the youth leader, and an official of the Karbi Kingdom.

THE PURIFICATION PROCESS:

Notably, it is not necessary that one must take bath before performing the Rongker rituals.

However, each person must be purified. This is done in a special manner.

The purification process involves sprinkling of water with basil leaves – deemed sacred.

THE KARBIS:

The Karbis are a patrilineal society. They are composed of five major clans or Kur. They are Engti (Lijang), Terang (Hanjang), Enghee (Ejang), Teron (Kronjang), and Timung. The five clans have a number of sub-clans.

SACRIFICES DONE DURING RONGKER:

During the Rongker celebrations, the Karbi community offers sacrifices to their deities.

THE SACRIFICES:

The Karbis offer sacrifices on each of the three nights of Rongker. These are elaborated.

BAMUN

The Karbi deity, Bamun, is vegetarian. Hence, no sacrifice is offered to Bamun during Rongker.
Except Bamun, sacrifices are offered to all the other deities during the Rongker celebrations.

POST-SACRIFICE RITUALS:

After the sacrifices are offered to the deities during Rongker, the religious specialists (thek-kere) predicts the future of the villagers.

They do this by looking at the intestines and hearts of the animals that were sacrificed.
Once the Rongker rituals are over, the villagers have a feast.

THE SECOND NIGHT OF RONGKER:

On the second night of Rongker, a ritual known as ‘Ajo-Rongker’ or ‘Rongphu-Rongling-Kangthin’ is performed.
Dancing takes place to chase the evil spirits for all sides of the village. Then, an altar is constructed. It is made at the last portion of the village road.

Finally, they sacrifice a chicken at the altar. This sacrifice is made in the name of ‘Ajo-Angtarpi’.

THE THIRD NIGHT OF RONGKER:

Rongker Festival of Karbis

On the concluding and third night of Rongker Festival, the Karbis sacrifice a cock to the tiger deity – ‘Arnam-teke’.
This is performed on an altar that was constructed earlier beside a ghat.
The sacrifice is made seeking protection from the deity against tigers that may attack the village.

The writer — Nilutpal Gogoi is an entrepreneur, senior journalist, writer, translator (from Assamese to English & vice versa), avid traveller, British English Accent & grammar trainer, educationist, and martial arts (Taekwondo) practitioner.

Categories
Assam Festival Lifestyle

Koni juj popular ethnic game of the indigenous Assamese people

Koni juj is a popular ethic game of the indigenous Assamese people. It is celebrated during Rongali Bihu.

Time Of Game

It is played during the Rongali Bihu in mid-April. It is played with several other ethnic games like cock fight and bullfight, ‘hati juj’ (elephant fight), ‘kori khel, and archery besides several other interesting games.

Terminology

The Assamese term ‘koni’ means egg while the other term ‘juj’ refers to fight. Therefore, ‘koni juj’ connotes egg fight.

This popular game signifies the basically agrarian spirit of the Assamese community and is linked with the fertility of agricultural land.

The Assamese people dwell in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.

Occasion

This iconic ethnic game is played on two occasions: on the day of ‘Goru Bihu’ (the agrarian festival of Bihu when the cattle are bathed in natural water sources); and on the day of Bhogali Bihu – celebrated after the lighting of the ‘meji’.

Rongali Bihu is celebrated during both of the three Bihus: one falling in mid-April (before sowing); and the other celebrated in mid-January (after harvesting).

Literature evidence: Several authors have written about this ethnic game. Assamese author Hem Borgohain penned descriptively about this game in his book “Bihu Akou Aahil”. Royals were very fond of this game just as the general citizens were.

The writer — Nilutpal Gogoi is an entrepreneur, senior journalist, writer, translator (from Assamese to English & vice versa), avid traveller, British English Accent & grammar trainer, educationist, and martial arts (Taekwondo) practitioner.

Categories
Assam Featured Lifestyle

Gamosa a colourful ‘japi’ symbol of the indigenous Assamese people

The ‘Gamosa’ (also called ‘Gamusa’) along with the colourful ‘japi’ is one of the symbols of the indigenous Assamese people of Assam.

Assam is one of the eight north-eastern of the Indian States of India.

TERMINOLOGY

The Assamese term ‘gamosa’ has been derived from two words – ‘ga’ connoting body; and ‘musa’ refers ‘to wipe’.

Hence when translated, ‘gamosa’ means ‘something to wipe the body with’.

Nevertheless, it would be a misnomer and quite misleading to call ‘gamosa’ as a towel.

TRACING THE ROOTS

The roots of the Assamese term ‘gamosa’ or ‘gamusa’ can be traced to the Kamrupi word ‘gamsaw’.

However, the Assamese term ‘Gamusa’ originated from the Tai people.

It has been also traced to other people in South-East and East Asia. The people of these nations also ‘Gamusa’, that is almost similar to the ‘Gamosa’.

SHAPE, COLOUR & FABRIC

The general shape of it is rectangular piece of cloth and is usually white in colour.

Three borders of the ‘gamosa’ are red in colour.

On the other hand, the fourth side is woven with red motifs (besides the already present red background.

Of course, various other colours are also used.

The most commonly used material used to weave or make is cotton yarn.

But for special occasions, the weavers also make it using ‘Pat’ silk.

In fact, it is now the longest hand-woven piece of cloth in the world.

Significantly, world history was etched when a 1,455.3 meter long ‘Gamosa’ was displayed in Delhi.

Gamosa During Bihu Dance

USES

The ‘gamosa’ is used on a number of occasions. These are listed below.

  • Even though the ‘gamosa’ is often used on a daily basis to wipe water from the body after one takes bath – deemed as an act of purification, but the use of it is not restricted to just this act.
  • In fact, wiping the body with the ‘gamosa’ helps blood circulation and also the rubbing ears up the pores of the skin.
  • It is used to cover the altar at the নামঘৰ prayer hall or cover the scriptures. An object of reverence is never placed on the bare ground, but always on a ‘gamosa’.
  • Used by the farmer, hunter or fishermen as a ‘tongali’ (waistcloth) or a ‘suriya’ or also known as ‘gamsa’ (loincloth).
  • A Bihu male dancer wraps ‘gamosa’ around his head in a particular style. It ends up with a fluffy knot.
  • It is also hung around the neck.
  • This is a mandatory practice when the faithful congregate in the ‘naamghar‘ (নামঘৰ) the prayer hall.
  • In the past, the elderly Assamese malefolk used to keep the it over their shoulders. It signified their social status.
  • The Assamese community welcome their guests by offering a ‘gamosa’ along with betel nut (tamul).
  • They also offer it to elders as a mark of respect.

This article is commonly mentioned as the ‘bihuwaan’. This is particularly so during the time of Bihu. Hence, the ‘gamosa’ very much represents the indigenous culture and life of the Assamese people.

Gamosa Display

CULTURAL IMPORTANCE

All the Assamese people, irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, equally use ‘gamosa’.

It is an exquisitely woven and beautifully designed symbolic piece of cloth.

It has eye catching graphic designs.

It is used by the various ethno-cultural, cultural groups, and sub-systems as well.

Many other traditionally symbolic morifs and designs, now extant among others only in art, literature, architecture, and sculpture besides used specifically for religious purposes (in particular occasions only).

TYPICAL DESIGNS

The Assamese weavers give typically traditional designs to it. These include the Tai Ahom insigna of ‘flying dragon, Assamese-lion, and flying-lion among others.

These symbols woven on it are used for various occasions and purposes.

In November 2019, a ‘gamosa’ was published in a geographical indication journal. But it had not received the geographical Indication tag till then.

The ‘gamosa’ has now got ‘GI’ tag.

Categories
Assam Festival

Kaziranga Elephant Festival by the Tourism & Forest Department, Assam

The Kaziranga Elephant Festival is an internationally popular event. The event is held in globally known as the National Park of Kaziranga in Assam.

SPONSOR

The Government of Assam sponsors this Festival.

The event is jointly managed by the Tourism and the Forest Department of Assam.

VENUE

This Festival is organised annually.

TRACING THE ROOTS

It was first held in 2002.

TIME

The ‘Kaziranga Elephant Festival’ is generally held in the month of February.

OBJECTIVE

The prime objective behind this Festival is to create awareness about the causes of man-elephant conflict especially in the areas and fringe locations surrounding the National Park.

The tourist attraction fest further focusses on the conservation an protection of the highly endangered and exotic Asiatic elephant.

THE FESTIVAL

Kaziranga Elephant Festival

The yearly elephant festival held in the Kaziranga National Park of Assam has an objective. It is to highlight and find ways to resolve the increasing man-elephant conflicts.

HIGHLIGHTS

The highlight of ‘Kaziranga Elephant Festival’ is the herd of hundreds of Asiatic elephants (domestic). They offer a majestically colorful picture.

Each of them is decked up from head to toe.

These pachyderms joyfully participate in in the mega event. They take part in races, parade, dance, and sports like football.

KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

The ‘Kaziranga National Park’ is the oldest park of the north-eastern State.

Spread across 430 sq km, the Park is situated across two districts of the Indian State. These are Golaghat and Nagaon.

The extensive National Park meanders along the Brahmaputra River on the northern side and the hills of Karbi Anglong district on the southern direction.

Categories
Assam Festival

The Techxetra a techno-cultural festival held in Tezpur University

‘TechXetra’ is held in Tezpur University, India. It is a national level techno-cultural festival.

TERMINOLOGY

The term ‘TechXetra’ is coined from two words: ‘Tech’ and ‘Xetra’. Therefore, ‘Tech’ points to ‘technology’ while ‘Xetra’ connotes terrain. TechXetra’ is often referred to as ‘Tx’ across the social networking websites.

PURPOSE

It offers a common platform to both non-engineering and engineering students across India to exhibit their intellect, skill and knowledge.

TechXetra is a blend of various management and technical events. The participants also enjoy cultural events during each day of the mega event.

ROOTS

TechXetra was founded in October 1988.

SPONSOR

It is sponsored by the management of Tezpur University.

ORGANISERS

The Techxetra Techno Cultural Festival
Photo Credit Kavya Barnadhya

The non-profit techno-management and cultural annual event is organised entirely by the students of the Central higher educational institution of Tezpur University in Assam – one of the eight north-eastern states if India.

MOTTO

The motto of ‘Expanding the Frontiers of Technology’.

WEBSITE: The official website is techxetra.in

MAJOR EVENTS

The major five events of Techxetra are Robotics, Full Throttle, D’ Colloseum, Impulse, Creation, management events, various workshops, and Nirmaan.

ROBORICS

In Robotics the participants compete to build and design Robots according to laid down norms. They can do so automatically or manually.

D’COLLOSEUM

‘Colloseum’ is a highly solicited gaming event. It features five globally popular PC games.
The participating teams test their skill and mettle against other teams in various gaming events.

MANAGEMENT EVENTS

The teams competing during ‘TechXetra’ showcase management brains. The events are ‘Dalal Street’, ‘B-plan’, and ‘Ad vantage’. These prime attractions feature high voltage drama.

The personality test is known as ‘D Hot seat’.

WORKSHOPS

TechXetra features technical workshops. The topics are quite challenging each year.

CREATION

During ‘Creation’ the participants exhibit their creativity in the event christened ‘Digi-shooting’. Here, they use cameras. They can do so by mobile shooting as well. There is also ‘Wrangle’ – the debating event, and imaginative events like the ‘Mirage’ and ‘Wordsmith’.

NIRMAAN’ & ‘CONROLIX’

During ‘Techxetra’, these are the structure maker contests while ‘Circuitrix’ tests software skills, and decoding expertise.

CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA

Techxetra features four cultural nights of cultural events. These are confluence of classical, rock, western and eastern genre of music.

Well-known musicians of the country are invited to participate during these cultural nights. Besides, a ramp show is held where the participants exhibit attires. The icing on the cake is the Dj nite. Award-winning movies are also screened in the auditorium of the Tezpur University during this festival.

Categories
Assam Festival

‘The Guwahati Theatre Festival’ an annual festival by G Plus

‘The Guwahati Theatre Festival’ is held by G Plus – a weekly tabloid news magazine published from Guwahati – the gateway to North-East India.

Objective

The objective of this festival is to give a common platform to various groups involved in theatre.

This opportunity enables the participating performing groups to showcase their talents before the audience in Guwahati and the north-eastern region of India.

Founder

The founder of ‘The ‘Guwahati Theatre Festival’ is Sunit Jain.

Frequency

The fest is held annually. It was inaugurated in 2016.

Venue

Guwahati Theatre Festival

The Festival is held at the Pragjyoti ITA Cultural Complex, Machkhowa.

History

During the inaugural edition on 23 September 2016, ‘The Guwahati Theatre Festival’ had entries from acclaimed dramatist directors like Saurabh Shukla, Kalki Koechlin, Neil Bhoopalam, Rajat Kapoor, Jim Sarbh, Shernaz Patel, and Sadiya Siddiqui.

This edition of the festival further featured globally acclaimed The Vagina Monologues written by written by Eve Ensler and Shakespeare play Hamlet – The Clown Prince, directed by Rajat Kapoor.

Other plays staged in the maiden edition if the festival were The Living Room, 2 to Tango 3 to Jive, The Truth of Womanhood, and One on One.

Life In A Theatre Award

The organisers of this festival further constituted the ‘Life in a Theatre Award’. It was posthumously awarded to noted Assamese dramatists Kulada Kumar Bhattacharjee in 2016 and to Padma Shri Arun Sarma in 2017 and posthumously awarded to Sukracharjya Rabha for his contribution in theatre direction.

Patrons

The primary sponsors of ‘The Guwahati Theatre Festival – 2016′ were the State Bank of India, Ballantine’s, and Audi.

The main sponsors of in the year – 2017′ were the

Indian Oil, Apollo Hospitals, Airtel, and Ballantine’s.

The sponsors for the – 2018’ were

  • the Mahindra & Mahindra,
  • Apollo Hospitals,
  • And the North East Small Finance Bank.
Categories
Assam Festival

Namami Brahmaputra a Festival of gratitude to the River Brahmaputra

Namami Brahmaputra was held to express gratitude to the lifeline of Assam – the Brahmaputra River.

Nomenclature

The Sanskrit term ‘Namami’ means ‘Namaskar’ or a type of praise.

The word ‘Brahmaputra’ connotes the son of Lord Brahma – the three-headed Hindu deity who is deemed to be the creator of the universe.

Significance

Namami Brahmaputra Sarbananda Sonowal

The festival of ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ was organized by the Government of Assam in 2017. The socio-cultural event was held due to the active initiative of the then Chief Minister of the north-eastern State of Assam in India. He was Sarbananda Sonowal. Incidentally, this was the first BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)-led Ministry in the State.

Mentionably, this was the maiden time when such a mega public event was held to express gratitude to the Brahmaputra.

The Event

Namami Brahmaputra Boat Race

The maiden edition of the ‘Namami’ Brahmaputra’ was organised for five days from 31 March-4 April 2017. The festival was inaugurated by the then President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, inaugurated the festival.

Venue

The primarily five-day ‘Namami’ Brahmaputra was held on the banks of the River Brahmaputra. The fest was held in all the then 21 district headquarters of Assam. The primary venue was Kacharighat in Guwahati – the gateway to the seven of the eight north-eastern States.

Categories
Assam Festival Meghalaya

Wanshuwa (Wanshuwa Kham) Festival of The Tiwas community

Wanshuwa is a folk festival of the indigenous Tiwa community of Assam and Meghalaya. They primarily dwell in the two hamlets of Marjong and Amkha in Karbi Anglong District of Assam.

Alternative Name

This festival is also known as Wanshuwa Kham.

Duration

This important socio-religious event is organised after every five years.

Primarily, Wanshuwa commences on a Tuesday and concludes on a Thursday. This festival is organised between June and August.

The Festival

The function of Wanshuwa is performed in the Shangdoloi’s (village bachelor dormitory chief) residence. It is scheduled on Wednesday.

Wanshuwa: The Rituals

The Wanshuwa function follows an elaborate ritual.

Venue

The socio-agricultural rites are performed in the official house of the Shangdoloi – the chief of the boys’ dormitory (meant for only the bachelors) in each village.

Procedures

  • First, the wooden mortars (sham) are prepared.
  • Next, these are buried partially on the ground.
  • Then, the Shangdoloi’s members start pounding the wet rice using the mortar.
  • The pestle made of wood is called ‘lomphor’.
  • The process continues till the were rice is grounded. During this time, they also dance to the rhythmic tunes of the Tiwa musical instruments – khram, thurang and pangsi.
  • Once they complete the Wanshuwa dance, the rice flour sprinkling ceremony starts.

Festival of The Tiwas

Process

When the dance is completed, they mix the flour (prepared after the wet rice is grounded) with a small amount of water.

A portion if the rice flour is mixed with water. Then, the sacred concoction (wankuri) is sprinkled on the gathering.

The remaining portion of the flour is distributed among villagers who prepare steamed rice cake – wanrusa – during the night.

Rice Flour (Wankuri) Sprinkling Ceremony

The following morning they bring the wanrusas to the Shangdoloi’s house. These rice pan cakes are offered to their deities – Maldewa Raja and Sodonga Raja.

The Wanshuwa festival of the Tiwas conclude by late Tuesday evening.

Categories
Assam Festival Meghalaya

Sogra Festival celebrated by Tiwa community of Assam and Meghalaya

The Tiwa community of Assam and Meghalaya (two of the eight northeastern) states of India celebrate the Sogra festival.

Significance of Sogra Festival

This festival marks the commencement of the season of cultivation.

Time of Sogra

The annually celebrated Sogra festival is held in March and April. Generally, the festival starts on a Wednesday and it continues till the next Monday.

The festival continues for several hours during the night.

What Happens

During these six days of the Sogra Spring festival, the youth involve in a number of activities linked with the festival.

Sogra Festival Dance

Where Sogra Celebrated

The socio-religious cultural spirit of this festival is observed in the four Tiwa (also known as Lalung) root villages of Amkha, Amsai, Amri, Marjong and Lumphui.

These four hamlets are situated in the West Karbi Angling District of Assam and Ri Bhoi District of Meghalaya In India.

The Procedure

The recitation ritual if the folk agricultural Sogra festival is done by the village priest called ‘Loro’. This rite is known as ‘Mindai lekhewa’.

Rituals

During this annual folk festival, the village priest or Loro, performs a ritual called Mindai lekhewa. While performing this ritual, the Loro repeatedly recites the names of their pantheon of deities. The Loro also recounts the events that had happened in the past.

The ceremony of recitation takes place at the home of the Loro in the middle of the night. The ritual of ‘Mindai lekhewa’ is performed in presence of village elders (Pisai) and the youth group (Panthai Khel).