Festival - Ka Pomblang Nongkrem: Must See India
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Ka Pomblang Nongkrem

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Ka Pomblang Nongkrem, also known as Shad Nongkrem, is the most important festival of the Khasis, who are natives of the North Eastern State of Meghalaya. The festival is a harvest festival and celebrated for 5 days in November each year.

The festival is celebrated at Smit near the state capital Shillong. The Khasis give thanks to their Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a bountiful harvest and offer prayers for the continued prosperity of their people. Traditionally, the festival involves animal sacrifice and dance and music performances by members of the tribe.

Traditions


The festival involves sacrifice of goats in a ceremony known as Pomblang.The Khasis believe in ancestor worship and offerings are made to ancestors and to the ruling deity U Lei Shillong. The Khasis wear their traditional dress and participate in a dance called Nongkrem. The festival ends on the fifth day with a thanksgiving function. It also emphasises the important role women play in Khasi society. Prayers are offered to the deity and the ruling spirit of Shillong peak both are females.

Tourist Essential


The North East states of India remain unfrequented by tourists. The Ka Pomblang Nongkrem Festival affords tourists a glimpse into the customs of the Khasis. The dances of the Khasis are remarkable for the vigourous movements. The Nongkrem is danced to the tune of pipes called Tangmuri and to the beat of tribal drums. The women are clad in the Khasi dress and intricate silver jewellery and move in the inner circle. Men wear silk dhotis, turbans; they hold a spear in one hand and a yak hair whisk in the other. The dance takes place in front of a holy pillar called U Rishot Blei.

The Khasis are a matrilineal society and the date of the festival is set by the King and announced by the king’s sister. The King’s sister is in charge of organising the festival and appoints the priest to conduct the ceremonies. The festival falls in October-November each year.

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by Kapil
by Kapil
 

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