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Festivals of Meghalaya


A very important festival among the Garos is the Wangala- a harvest festival held in honour of Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility. This marks the end of a period of toil, which brings good yield of the fields.  It is the time to relax and for days the hills and valleys resound with the distinctive beat of drums. Young and old join the festivities with equal gaiety. While the men beat drums, the line moves forward in rhythmic unison. The 'orchestra' of men consists of drums, gong and flutes punctuated by the sonorous music of an indigenous flute made of buffalo horn. There is a noticeable sense of rhythm in the participants, young and old, and the vigorous dance leaves a lasting impression upon the beholder.  

Shad Suk Mynsiem

A counterpart of the Garo harvest festival is the Shad Suk Mynsiem or the 'dance of Contentment' celebrated in April at the Wecking grounds near Shillong and at other places.


Among the Pnars, the most celebrated religious festival is the Beh-dien-Khlam (chasing away the Demon of Cholera). Early on the first day, young men go round the village beating on gate post of individual houses. The climax of the celebration is the tussle for a large undressed beam by two groups of people in opposition to each other. This involves getting this heavy beam across a muddy ditch called Wah-eit-nar. A lot of horse play enters into this part of the proceedings when mud is generously smeared by the participants on each other. This celebration held at Jowai is one of the most well known festivals in Meghalaya.



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