Monday, 11 November 2013

Festivals of Arunachal Pradesh

Nyokum Festival is the most prominent festival of Arunachal Pradesh. Celebrated by the Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, Nyokum is a very colorful festival and reflects the interesting cultural heritage and ethnicity of the Nyishi tribe.
Nyokum Festival is celebrated every year on 26th February with great zeal and spirit. And it has slowly become a symbol of unity, harmony, and ethnicity. Nyokum comprises of two words:  Nyok meaning land and Kum meaning people.
The Nyokum Festival is usually celebrated in community grounds where people wearing traditional clothes gather up, sing, and dance. During the festival, head priest performs rituals and prayers are offered to the spirits to bring peace, harmony, and prosperity to the people.  Men and women in traditional attire hold hands and gather up forming a circle and perform the traditional dance as they sing “Nyokum bo tapa debe”.  Several competitions that foster the traditional art forms are organized during the festival.
Nyokum Festival has evolved much more than a festival to a celebration of life. Nyokum, indeed, is a colorful way of celebrating life and fostering the great ethnicity of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Dree Festival is an Apatani agricultural rite.It involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the gods – Tamu, Metii and Danyi Pilo(Sun and Moon God). The purpose of the festival is to appease these gods so that famine could be avoided. This rite is observed by the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh, India. The Apatanis, who inhabit a tranquil pine clad valley called Ziro at the core of Lower SubansiriDistrict of Arunachal Pradesh, are famous for their unique practice of wet rice cultivation. One would wonder as to how the early Apatanis had brilliantly discovered the magnificent irrigated rice cultivation without help of scientific technologies. Rice is the staple food of the Apatanis, as such for its bumper harvest the nature God and goddesses are prayed during the Dree Festival from 4 to 7 July of each year.