Arunachal Pradesh is a state of distinct culture and is amongst the most gorgeous places in India. There are a plethora of tribes that inhabit the state making it quite colourful with its diverse culture and traditions. One can rightly call Arunachal Pradesh one of the best places for cultural holidays in India. The festival seasons are simply the best times to visit this culturally rich state as one has the opportunity to learn more about the diversity. There are many agricultural, religious and socio-cultural festivals where people dance, sing, pray, pay gratitude and make merry as a community.
The New Year festival, called “Losar”, is perhaps the most important festival of Tawang District in Arunachal Pradesh. The Losar festival of the Monpas is their new year of festival. On this occasion people clean out their homes to usher in the new year and to discard the old. It mostly falls in the last part of February or early part of March and is celebrated with lots of fun and festivity, which lasts for about 8 to 15 days.
The Torgya Festival is a 3-day affair. This important festival signifies the destruction of evil spirit and harmful forces and seeks the rule of prosperity and happiness amongst the people.
Torgya is a monastic festival held every year for three days starting from 28th day of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar, which generally falls in the last part of January.
Choekhor Festival is mainly observed among the tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh for the betterment of the economic basis in future. This festival is organized by the in the villages with an aim to save the crops from the evil spirits.
Monpas have a colourful festive heritage. Monpas festivals are related with agricultural practices and religious events.
Saga Dawa Festival
Celebrated in the 4th month of the lunar calendar, the Saka Dawa festival marks Gautam Buddha’sachievement of Nirvana.
This month marks the birth of Lord Buddha, his attainment of supreme enlightenment and his passing into the state of nirvana. It normally falls in the month of May. This occasion is celebrated with much fun and gaiety.
Sangken festival, is an occasion to bathe the images of Lord Buddha ceremoniously. Sangken festival also heralds the new year and people sprinkle water on each other as a sign of merriment.
Reh, one of the most important festivals of the Idus, is celebrated during the month of February. The inhabitants of theTalo, Amru, and Dri villages of the Dibang valley celebrate it during summer and monsoon.
The ‘Solung’ is celebrated by the ‘Adi’ community. Adi’s belong to the agricultural community and thus this festival is connected with the agricultural activities of the people. Various myths, stories, and beliefs are associated with the origin of the ‘Solung’ festival.
The Dree Festival involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the Gods. The gods worshipped during this festival are Tamu, Metii , Danyi and Harniang. The festival is celebrated to appease these Gods so as to avoid famine in the society. This festival is a part of the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh. The Apatanis, reside in a valley called Ziro. Ziro is located at the Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh.
Another important festival is Tamladu, essentially celebrated by the Digaru Mishmis tribe. During the festival, prayers are offered to the God of Earth and the God of Water for protection against natural calamities.
The Supreme- Lord Jebmalu, is worshipped and welfare of human beings, the standing crops and domestic animals.
Another festival is the Khan festival, an occasion for the reunion of the people. Besides the usual festivities, the significance of the festival lies in the ceremony whereby the priest ties a piece of wool around everybody’s neck. The belief is that the enchanted thread will bring good luck to each of them.
Dukpa Tse-Shi Festival
The Dukpa Tse-Shi Festival celebrates the preaching of the Four Nobel Truths at Sarnath by Buddha. It falls in the 6th month of the Lunar calendar.