Meghalaya celebrates annual Nongkrem dance festival

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Meghalaya, Nov 13 (ANI): Locals of Smit in Meghalaya perform various folk dances wearing colourful traditional attire on the occasion of their annual dance festival prior to the sowing season.

The festival, known as 'Nongkrem dance festival', is celebrated to commemorate the event in which Shillong was established as a state and democracy and rule of justice came into existence.

"It is the evolution of khasi polity, when the different administrative units decided to unify themselves under the banner of Shillong, that is why the state of Shillong was established. The democratic governance and rule of justice was then bestowed on the people," said Sumar, a resident.

People from different regions visited Smit to witness the Nongkrem dance festival.

"The festival is very nice and the dance is spectacular and very colourful. I have never seen such a colourful performance in the United Kingdom ever," said Tonny, a tourist from United Kingdom.

The festival is followed by a thanksgiving ceremony to the almighty after a good harvest and for maintaining peace and prosperity in the state.

As per the tradition, unmarried girls dance in their exotic costumes whereas the boys perform with a sword or spear in one hand and usually a white Yak hair whisk in the other. They sway to the beats of the drums and to the tunes of the Tangmuri (pipes).

One of the important rituals of the festival is the 'Pomblang Ceremony', which means decapitation of goats. People offer goats to the 'Syiem' of Khyrem, the administrative head of the Hima (Khasi State). By Hempi D. Henpilen (ANI)

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