Kra Dadi, Arunachal Pradesh

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Longte festival 2016. Photo by: Sangha Tagik
Longte festival 2016. Photo by: Sangha Tagik

Longte Festival

Longte festival 2016. Photo by: Sangha Tagik

Longte Festival

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Spring in Arunachal Pradesh is a season of festivals. Festivity grips the land of rising sun where the tribal people never miss the chance to share the joy. The pan-Nyishi people in the tribal state celebrate Longte festival with much pomp and gaiety providing the tourists a chance to get a glimpse of their tradition and culture. The Nyishi people dominated areas dress afresh with the advent of the season. The celebration is huge in Koloriang and Kra Daadi where they vow to keep the “Longte" alive.

Longte festival has the unique tradition of non-involvement of animal sacrifice. This is a festival of sports, song and dance apart from a slew of rituals. Volleyball, archery dominate the games where cultural functions pull huge crowd of all sections of the society.

The purpose behind the celebration is to allow non-violence to spread in the nook and corner of the state. Programmes after programmes associated with the festival outline the value of morality which holds the key in a decent society. These people firmly believe that a healthy climatic condition upholds the moral value. With this idea in mind, they have been celebrating the festival since time immemorial where they offer puja to appease Atu Gungte and Ayu Gumru. The duo are divine souls representing male and women folks who also can ensure bumper crops along with others needed for a happy and prosperous life. The Nishis, mostly, depend on farming and they are known as animal lovers. This festival proves beyond doubt that the  Arunachalees, particularly, the Nyishis  promote a bloodless culture in their day-to-day life at a time when rare species of animals have vanished from the state. This is a festival where no donations are required to be celebrated in the state.

The striking feature of the festival is the traditional game of bobo where the participators need to climb to the top of a pole through a rope. Two men prove physical strength through a bamboo. Others include arrow shooting, tug-of-war both boys and girls. The most interesting is the mega traditional dance involving 200 young girls dressed in traditional attires, dance to the tune of melodious folk songs.

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