3 colorful festivals of North-East India that you shouldn’t miss

North-East India is the land of color, music, nature’s pure bliss and festivals. Each of the states of ‘Seven sisters of India’ i.e. Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland has its own culture, heritage, music and dance. Throughout the year, various states of North-East celebrate festivals- that revolve around either worship of deities, symbols of nature or rejoicing a fruitful season of harvesting.

These festivals are great opportunities for any traveler – to observe the rich folk music, tribal dance forms and war-styles, local handicrafts and food, close-handedly of that particular North-Eastern state.

Below three great festivals of North-East India are listed. If you love to explore indigenous, little-known culture and heritage of India, you must visit each of them at least once in a lifetime-

1 Hornbill Festival, Nagaland

Hornbill festival is your chance to witness the collaborative celebration of all Naga tribes at one place.

Time of celebration

between 1st and 7th of December every year

Place of celebration

Naga Heritage Village, Kisama (12 KM from Kohima- state capital)

A heady concoction showing Naga- cultural, gastronomic, artistic and war-related extravaganza, Hornbill festival is named after the great Indian bird Hornbill which is celebrated across the state of Nagaland. Hosted by the tourism ministry of the state- it’s a mélange of tradition with modernity.

On one hand, you can experience native games, music, folk dances, mock Naga war-performances and artifacts like – painting, wood carvings, sculptures etc., and on the other hand, there would be fashion show, beauty contest, flower shows etc., at the venue.

Apart from the above events, Hornbill Festival has slowly become one of the trendiest music festivals in India. Many upcoming young rock bands and musicians from the state, beyond the state or even from abroad – perform here, annually.

2 Rongali Bihu Festival, Assam

Rongali Bihu festival marks the onset of the Assamese New Year

Time of celebration

Mid-April each year, around 14-15th of April

Place of celebration

the whole state of Assam

Bihu is the supreme and most important festival of Assam that is celebrated by the natives of state- irrespective of their religion, creed or caste. There are three types of Bihu- Rongali Bihu, Bhogali Bihu (in January), Kongali Bihu (Nov/Dec). Among them, Rongali Bihu is the most popular celebration.

It’s held in the honor of the beginning of spring or the harvesting season. During this period, people clean and decorate their houses, wash the pet cows and take care of them, wear new clothes, cook delicious food and sweets and offer them during worship.

The festival continues for seven days, and it involves the local Bihugeets or folk songs, Bihu dance, playing of various, traditional musical instruments, bull fights and many other forms of merriment.

3 Anthurium Festival, Mizoram

Anthurium festival of Mizoram is celebrated to promote tourism in the state.

Time of celebration

Mid-September, each year

Place of celebration

Reiek Village (an hour drive from Aizwal- state capital)

A joint venture by state tourism ministry and the horticulture department- to promote the local culture as well as attracting tourists and selling the exotic flowers and plants; Anthurium Festival’s popularity is growing by leaps and bounds each year.

Apart from the festival, the mystic Reiek Village is also a heritage site and surrounded by lush greenery.

Except displaying and selling beautiful Anthurium flowers that are grown abundantly in Mizoram, this festival organizes local dance, art and handicrafts stalls, fashion show and a rocking music concert.

As we know that, the inhabitants of North-Eastern India mostly belong to various tribes, each of their festivals is surrounded with folklores, tale of long-forgotten battles and bravery. If you are a true adventurer by heart , and exploring the pristine lands is in your blood- then do not miss the chance of soaking yourself into the festive spirit of North-East. It’s a land of magic-realism.