Ali-ai-Ligang being celebrated in Assam

Guwahati, Feb 16 (PTI) Ali-ai-Ligang, the spring festivalof Mishing ethnic community of Assam, was celebrated todayin the traditional spirit of brotherhood and harmony on thefirst Wednesday of the Assamese month Giinmur Polo (February �March).

As the name of the vibrant five-day festivalAli-ai-Ligang suggests cultivation and harvesting, paddy wassowed ritualistically in agricultural fields across thestate by men and women dressed in their traditional colourfulwoven dresses.

Ali'' means root and seed, ai'' is fruit and Ligang'' isto sow. After the ceremonial sowing of the paddy seeds, theyoung boys and girls of the tribe danced Gumrag'' to celebratethe occasion.

A grand feast was a major part of the celebrations, whichalso mark new year (Anu Ditag) for the Mishings, with thepartaking of delicacies prepared with dried fish and porkwashed down with �Poro Apong� or rice beer.

During the festival the trees are respected with the peoplerefraining from cutting them down and there is also noploughing, fishing and burning of jungles.

The Mishing tribe is part of the greater Tani tribesmostly found in the upper Assam districts and neighbouringArunachal Pradesh as well as Tibet.

Migrating to the plains of Assam from Arunachal, theysettled on the river banks preserving their language andculture living in harmony with other Assamese speaking peopleof the state.

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