Festivals of Meghalaya

Festivals in the Garo Hills

Wangala: This festival marking the yield of godd harvest is annually held in November and last for a week. It is performed in honour of 'Satyong', the God of fertility. Wangala means dance of Hundred Drum festival and people dressed in their colourful costumes dance to the beat of long cylindrical drums.

Doregata Dance: In this form of dance the women try to knock off the turbans of their male partner using their head. If they succeed, it is followed by peals of laughter.

Chambil mesara or Pomelo Dance: In this solo dance-form the performer dangles a pomelo on a cord tied to his waist and then hurls it around without any perceptible movement of the hips. Expert dancers can hurl two separate fruits hung on a cord.

Festivals in the Khasi Hills

Nongkrem Dance: This festival is held annually during October/ November, at Smit, the capital of the Khyrim Syiemship near Shillong in order to offer thanks to the almighty God for good harvest, peace and prosperity of the community. 'Pomblang' or goat sacrifice is offered by the subjects to the Syiem of Khyrim, the administrative head of the Hima (Khasi State). The dance is performed by young virgins and men, both bachelors and married.

Shad Suk Mynsiem: This thanksgiving dance festival, which means dance of the joyful heart is held in Shillong in April and lasts for three days. Men and women dressed in traditional fineries dance to the drums and the flute.

Festivals in Jaintia Hills

Behdienkhlam: This festival is an invocation to God seeking his blessings for a good harvest and is celebrated annually in July after the sowing period. Young men make a symbolic gesture of driving away of the evil spirit, plague and pestilence by beating of the roof of every house with bamboo poles.

Lahoo Dance

: This dance is performed by both male and female for entertainment. Attired in their best finery, two young men on either side of a woman, holding arms together dance in step.