Nature, fresh air, music, football, delectable food and lots of love are the things which come to mind when we think about this beautiful and unexplored paradise called North-east. Born and brought up in this lovely place, I vouch that it is an absolute icing on the cake when you get a chance to visit NE amid any famous festival in this region which is organized annually.
Thanks to the humongous growth of social media, other digital marketing platforms and continuous effort of the authority and artisans, popularity of these festivals has increased multiple folds over the past few years.
I have listed down my favorite five festivals which boasts of galore of music, delicious food and absolute fun. To spice up your Northeast trip you can include these festivals in your itinerary next time you plan to visit this sweet place.
1. Hornbill festival, Kohima, Nagaland
Pic credit: Click here
Hornbill festival which was started in 2000 can be termed as one of the most famous festivals of NE. You get to experience the rich culture of Nagaland in a week long festival held every year in the first Week of December in Kisama Heritage Village in Kohima district. The mix of several tribes of Nagaland showcases an extravaganza of cultural performances along with other interesting events such as sports, games and even religious ceremonies. You can bring back home beautiful and interesting souvenirs from numerous exhibition counters of arts and crafts. In addition to this, varieties of interesting food stalls are also set up where you can relish the local delicacies.
The branding is done very cleverly for this festival which uses the backdrop of mating season of Hornbill which is one of the famous birds of Nagaland.
2. Brahmaputra beach festival, Assam
Assam, the gateway to Northeast is a land of mesmerizing culture with mix of people from numerous communities who dwell with each other with lots of love and respect. People of Assam are happy-go-lucky by nature with extreme zeal and enthusiasm. This excitement and enthusiasm increases double fold with the onset of spring season in January. They love to celebrate their favorite harvest festival, “magh Bihu” in this month. This is the time when Assam Boat Racing and Rowing Association in association with the Assam Tourism Development Corporation organizes Brahmaputra beach festival, showcasing the rich culture and sport talent of the region.
Along with various exhibitions and cultural shows, major attractions in this festival are the adventure sports like beach cricket, beach volleyball, kayaking, kite flying and fun filled popular activities of Assam like elephant races, cock fighting etc. It is indeed one of the best time to explore the mesmerizing Paradise and at the same time discover the wild side of yours indulging into various adventurous sports.
3. Ziro music festival, Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Started in 2012 by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist, Anup Kutty, Zero music festival is like a hot startup of festivals. In a very short span of time it has managed to bag the title as India’s most fun outdoor music festival.
Music lovers can have a whirlwind four days in lush and beautiful Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh engrossing themselves into various types of music ranging from electronic, folk jazz, rock etc while savoring a local delicacy and sipping a few sips of Apong, a local rice beer.
Even though the festival mostly showcases the brilliant musical talent of the seven sisters of the region, it also boasts of hosting famous international and national bands over these four years.
The festival is organised around September-October every year which fall under very pleasant season of the friendly Apatanis’ homeland.
4. Shillong Autumn Festival, Shillong, Meghalaya
Shillong autumn festival is one of the most famous festivals of the NE region with quite a popularity among the foreign tourists. It marks the onset of a season of Khasi tribes which is generally celebrated in the month of October or early November.
Along with lots of food, wine, flower shows and cultural extravaganza this festival also hosts fashion shows to showcase the local fabric and hand-loom industry. In addition to the fashion show, you also get to experience the local craftsmanship and talent through various exhibitions’ stalls. As the name suggest, it is celebrated every year in shillong which is the capital city of Meghalaya.
5. Orange Festival, Dambuk
Another famous music festival after Ziro music festival is Orange Festival which has managed to make Dambuk a globally recognized place which was otherwise a faraway secluded tiny but beautiful place in Arunachal Pradesh. Dambuk is a beautiful place which boasts of amazing Orange Orchards. Hence, keeping in mind the popularity of the Oranges of this place, the branding of this festival is done very cleverly which has turned to be quiet helpful in popularizing the festival. It is only 3 year old festival with increasing popularity with each passing year. Recently concluded fest was graced by famous international artist, Yngwie Malsteen along with various famous national and regional bands. Orange festival Dambuk is a four days adventure ride with massive lineup of bands, art and sports.
I know you are already tempted to pack your bags and run to this amazing place right now. You can keep checking for the recent updates in the internet to know the exact time and details in order to plan your visit. I am sure that is going to be one of your most memorable trips ever.
This trip was first published in Tripoto