Festivals Of Meghalaya...

As there are three tribes in Meghalaya, the Festivals of Meghalaya are broadly classified into the festivals of their respective regions. There are many festivals of each tribe but the following are the most important festivals of the community.

Nongkrem Dance is a religious festival in thanksgiving to God Almighty for good harvest, peace and prosperity of the community. It is held annually during October/November, at Smit the capital of the Khyrim Syiemship near Shillong. The dance is performed in the open by young virgins and men, both bachelors and married. The women dressed in expensive silk costumes with heavy gold, silver and coral ornaments dance in the inner circle of the arena. The men form an outer circle and dance to the accompaniment of music of flutes and drums. An important feature of the festival is the 'Pomblang' or goat sacrifice offered by the subjects to the Syiem of Khyrim, the administrative head of the Hima (Khasi State). Ka Syiem Sad the eldest sister of the king is the chief priest and caretaker of all ceremonies. The festival is conducted along with the Myntries or Ministers, priests and high priest where offerings are made to ancestors of the ruling clan and the deity of Shillong.

Moirang is located about 45 km away from Imphal on Tiddim Road. The ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing stands there. In the month of May the people celebrate the festival of Moirang Lai Haraoba. In this festival, men and women in bright traditional costumes sing and dance in honor of the Lord. It was from the village of Moirang that the graceful, Khamba Thoibi dance originated. It was also at Moirang that flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted on Indian soil on April 14, 1944. There is an INA Museum here that exhibits letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other articles associated with INA. A bronze statue of Netaji in uniform stands proud in the lawn.

Wangala is dance of Hundred Drum festival is an important event of the Garos. This festival marks the end of a period of toil, heralding a yield of good harvest. It is performed in honor of 'Satyong', the God of fertility. People young and old dressed in their colorful costumes and feathered head dress, dance to the beat of long cylindrical drums. Held annually in November  the festival may last for a week.

This Festival of Meghalaya is celebrated annually in July after the sowing period is the most important dance festival of the Jaintias. Young men make a symbolic gesture of driving away of the evil spirit, plague and pestilence by beating of the roof of every house with bamboo poles. Also poles of great length are held across the streamWah-Ait-Nar. People jump on the poles and break them while dancing in the muddy pool of water. A large pole is placed across the stream and two groups contend for the possession of the pole. This festival is also an invocation to God seeking his blessings for a good harvest. The women however do not participate in the dancing, as they have an important function of offering sacrificial food to the spirits of the ancestors.

Ningol Chakouba 
Ningol Chakouba is a social festival of Meghalaya celebrated by Meiteis where the women (Ningol) are invited to a feast at their parental house along with their children. It is the festival that binds and revives the family relations between the girls married away and their parents. Nowadays other communities had also started celebrating the festivals. It is held every year during the month of November.

A riot of colors and water and the various chanting of the devotees of Lord Krishna is what you will come across during this festival. Another feature of this premiere festival is the Thabal Chongba  or Dance in the Moonlight. The boys from various places will come to the site of the festival and dance with the girls by holding on to their hands and moving in circles. It is celebrated for five days starting from the full moon of Phalguna i.e February/March.

Gaan-Ngai  is the greatest festival of the Zeliangrong people. Its a five day long festival and is usually performed on the 13th day of the Meitei month of Wakching as per the Meitei Calendar of the lunar year.