India’s North East is blessed with rich culture and traditions, and festivals are the perfect medium to showcase the spirit behind them. Most of the festivals are celebrated to mark either the beginning of a new year or the harvest season. They also offer a great opportunity to people from different tribes to bond over soulful music, dance, and elaborate feasts. If you are availing a Northeast package, make sure you get a chance to witness one or more of these festivals.
Here are some of the festivals that are iconic.
This is a renowned festival, celebrated every year during the first week of December. The Nagaland government organizes this festival to showcase the varied culture and heritage of the different ethnic groups of the state. Tap your feet to the rhythm of the traditional dances and folk songs performed by the aboriginal warrior tribes of Nagaland. The handicraft stalls installed at the festival ground, are a perfect place to buy souvenirs for friends and family. Don’t forget to gorge on some local delicacies at the food stalls. Celebrate the colorful festival of Hornbill with the locals over a glass of freshly brewed rice beer. You can also actively participate in the hottest event of the festival – the Naga Chilly Eating Competition.
Place: Naga Heritage Village
Rongali Bihu Festival
Experience the colorful shades of the vibrant Assamese culture through Rongali Bihu, the chief festival of Assam that marks the new Yyar of the state in April. The Bihu festivals are of three types – Bohaag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, Kaati Bihu, and Maagh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu. The Bohaag Bihu or Rongali Bihu is, however, the biggest of all the three. The locals gather in their best attires to celebrate the festival with great pomp and gusto. Discover the lifestyle, traditional handicrafts, and handlooms, food habits of different tribes at the exhibitions during this springtime event. The Bihu dance, however, remains the chief attraction of this cultural extravaganza. Also, don’t forget to gorge on some local delicacies such as coconut laddoos, ghila pitha, and kharbuja ke beej during the festival.
Place: Khanapara, a veterinary ground in Guwahati
This cultural festival of Manipur, celebrated in November, is named after the brow-antlered deer, which is found only in Manipur. The festival is used as a significant platform to showcase the culture and tradition of Manipur to the rest of the world. Enjoy the several traditional dance performances such as the Bamboo dance, Kanui Naga dance, Maibi dance, etc. The themed huts installed at the heritage park will give you an insight into the lifestyle of different tribes of the state. Enjoy the best of Manipur’s cuisine at the food stalls. The festival also hosts many adventure sports activities for tourists such as white-water rafting, trekking, and parasailing.
Place: Hapta Kangjeibung
This is one of the biggest festivals in Sikkim, celebrated in May or early June with great joy and pomp. The festival provides an excellent opportunity for travelers to get a glimpse of the vibrant culture of Sikkim. Watch the religious street processions and ceremonies that take place across the city of Gangtok, performed to mark the birth of Lord Buddha along with his attainment of enlightenment and redemption from the physical world. Lighting butter lamps is a highlight of the festival. Book a Gangtok tour package during the festive season to enjoy the best of the city. Nathula Pass, Khecheopalri Lake, Deorali Butterfly Bridge, Enchey Monastery, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Rumtek Monastery, and Lingdum Monastery are some of the best tourist places to visit in Gangtok.
Place: Across the city of Gangtok
Nyokum festival of Arunachal Pradesh, Kharchi Puja Festival of Tripura, Thalfavang Kut of Mizoram, and the Wangala Festival of Meghalaya are also some of the popular festivals of the Northeast. People of the Northeast celebrate their lives through these colorful and vibrant events. Make sure to attend at least one of them on your holiday here. Also, if you are planning a trip to Darjeeling and Gangtok, you can easily browse through the different Darjeeling packages online that meet your budget. Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Japanese Peace Pagoda, and Nightingale Park are amongst the best places to visit in Darjeeling.