| ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Festival of Monpas (11 February)
Losar is accounted as the New Year
festival. The festival is widely celebrated
by the Monpas to welcome New Year.
During the five days of the festivity
prayer are offered for prosperity
and goodhealth. The festivities include
the hoisting of religious flags atop
their homes, visits to the homes of
friends and relatives. Holy Buddhist
scriptures are read in every home
and butter lamps are lit in houses
and the campuses. Memba dance is performed
during the Losar festival to welcome
Festival of Monpas/Sherdukpen (27- 29Jan)
This is a community festival celebrated
(January/February) only at Tawang Monastery.
Hence the festival is known as "Tawang
Torgya". The celebration continues
for three days with the monastic dances
wearing colourful masks of animals.
The torgya festivals signify the destruction
of evil spirits and harmful forces,
and seek to make prosperity and happiness
among the people.
Festival of Khowa(Dec-Jan)
It is community festival lasts for ten
days. The festival is celebrated with
the help of a local priest (Phati).
In each village, there is a particular
place known as Suaiba for the celebration
of the festival. The Khowas celebrate
their popular Kshyat-Sowai amidst great
enthusiasm in the month of December.
Festival of Hill-Miris (6th Feb)
This is one of the most important festivals
of Hill-Miris community, which is celebrated,
in the last week
of the month of February (Loka Polo)
for 3 (three) days or more. During the
festival, the priests' leads a procession
of men, women and children dressed in
their traditional apparels from the
temporary hut constructed for the priest
known as Buri But-Nam. Women folk receive
the party with rice powder and then
thrown at them and dance round the RIGI
shouting HOI-HOI. Mithuns and other
animals are sacrificed and distributed
village wise. The people sacrifice,
goats, pigs, fowls to the spirits to
protect them and peace.
Ken Festival of Singphos (Jan-Feb)
It is the only Singpho's annual social
festival to mark their New Year. On
this celebration, along with bathing
of the Buddha images, all the villagers
gathered to play with water just the
same way as 'Holi' festival of the Hindus.
They sprinkle water on each other and
enjoy, after which they share the special
rice powder cake prepared for the festival.
Festival of Idu Mishmis(1st Feb)
Idu Mishmis prays before the deities
who control the peace and prosperity
of the people. Appeasement of the deities
who control the peace and prosperity
of the people is the thought behind
the celebration of the Reh festival.
The festival comes to an end with great
fan-fare and the performance of priest
dance is the special attraction.
Festival of Mijis (Feb- Mar)
Khan is the most popular festival of
the Mijis. It is an occasion for the
reunion of the people. The most significance
of the festival lies in a ceremony whereby
the priest ties a piece of wool around
everybody's neck. The belief is that
the enchanted thread will bring good
luck to each one of them.
Festival of Wancho(16 Feb)
celebrate this festival during March-April,
for a period of six to twelve days interspersed
with prayer, songs and dances. Villagers'
exchange bamboo tubes of rice beer as
a mark of greeting and goodwill and
pigs' skin offered to the village chief
as a mark of respect. This festival
continues with great enthusiasm for
many days just sowing of Jhum paddy.
Pigs, buffaloes and mithuns are sacrificed
and feasts are arranged in each and
every morungs (dormitories). Boys and
girls in ceremonial colourful costume
sings and dance during this festival.
People dances around 'Jangban' a long
ceremonial pole planted for this occasion.