Venue : Garo Hill in Megalaya, India.
Know the Wangala Festival
Wangala Festival of Meghalaya is a most popular festival among the Garos of Meghalaya, India. Wangala Festival is a harvest festival held in honour of Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility. The celebration of the Wangala Festival marks the end of a period of toil, which brings good output of the fields. It also signifies the onset of winter.
The Ritual in the Wangala Festival
Also known as a 100 drums festival, Wangala Festival is the occasion when the tribals offer sacrifices to please their main deity Saljong - the Sun God. It is generally celebrated for two days and sometimes continues for even a week. The ceremony performed on first day is known as "Ragula" is performed inside the house of the chief. On the second day is known as "Kakkat". People young and old dressed in their colourful costumes with feathered headgears dance to the tune of music played on long oval-shaped drums. This is the occasion to relax and for days the hills and valleys echoes with the extraordinary beat of drums. The popular dance forms are performed during the festival, itself has certain subtle variations, the main motif being a queue of two parallel lines - one of men and other of women clad in their festive fineries. Young and old join the festivities with equal enthusiasm. While the men beat the drums, the line moves forward in rhythmic accord. The 'orchestra' of men includes drums, gong and flutes, punctuated by the sonorous music of an primitive flute made of buffalo horn. There is a notable sense of tempo in the performers, young and old, and the energetic dance leaves a lasting impression upon the beholder.
Basically, the Wangala Festival is a way to preserve and promote the cultural identity of Garos in Meghalaya. This is one way to exhibit the culture and tradition of the region.