People from Garo tribe of Meghalaya recently celebrated the Wangala festival which is a harvest festival.
The festival marks the end of a period of hard work put in by farmers for a fruitful harvest from their fields. They give thanks to the God and Goddess called Misi Saljong, also known as Pattigipa Ra’rongipa (Sun-God), for blessing the people with a rich harvest. Wangala is celebrated in the months from September to December.
Dressed in their traditional fineries, farmers of the tribe gathered together to dance in honour of Saljong, the spirit of the Sun and fertility.
‘We celebrate this Wangala festival each year, to commemorate the post harvest season and in this festival we mainly include fun, merriment and joy and we invoke the blessing of the goddess Saljong who is also the deity of the Garos. He is the Sun God, and is regarded the deity of fulfillment and prosperity,’ said Sanjeev G. Momen, General Secretary (Administration) of Garos Union Nagaland zone.
The popular dance, known as the Wangala Dance or 100-drum Festival, is an intrinsic part of the post-harvest festival.
As per the tradition, on the first day of the festival, the dancers offer their agriculture produce to the Sun God, while on the second day, known as Kakkat, it is a time for both dancing and merriment.
While the men play the drums during the festival, women perform the traditional dance, moving their feet to the rhythmic beat of drums.
Every year, the popular festival draws huge crowd along with tourists from different parts of the country as well as from abroad.