Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh celebrates Dree festival

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Ziro (Itanagar), Aug.4 (ANI): Dree, a harvest festival meant to pray for a bumper yield of crop, was recently celebrated by the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.

Thousands of Apatani tribals, dressed in traditional attire, assembled at Ziro, about 200 kilometres from State capital Itanagar, to celebrate this festival with gaiety and enthusiasm.

It is a seasonal festival of joy and merriment celebrated with a series of agricultural rituals.

Celebrated in July, 'Dree' festival includes performing of several rites to worship and appease Gods and Goddesses. It is meant to protect the crops and ensure the well-being of society.

On this occasion, rice beer is prepared and women give it to their elder brothers, sisters, and sons-in-law as a gesture of love and affection.

"Dree is a traditional festival of Apatani tribes and Dree is mainly celebrated for bumper crops, all round development of society to prevent famine and also to ensure the health and prosperity of the entire society," said Hage Tatung, Organiser of Dree festival.

Besides, domestic fowls and animals are sacrificed for a bountiful harvest.

"If agriculture fails, we won't get to eat. We want a good harvest of rice, corn and vegetables. So we offer prayers for a good harvest. We check the heart of the sacrificed cock to find out what the harvest will be like, if the heart is good, we will have a good harvest, " said a local resident.

Rejoicing, singing folk songs and participating in dance competitions mark the festivity. In the modern times, various games and sports have also been introduced.

The festival is being celebrated every year under the banner of Central Dree Celebration Committee since 1965. By Peter Alex Todd (ANI)

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