Meghalaya is a land of surprises. From the rare tourist attractions like the living root bridges to the unique festivals of the land, Meghalaya has a lot to offer to a culture lover. Wangala festival is one such festival that is unique to the place.
There are several tribes in Meghalaya that co-exist following their rituals and customs. The Garo tribe is the second largest tribal community of the region, the Khasi being the first. The Wangala festival is celebrated by the Garo tribe, during the month of November every year.
Wangala is a harvest festival which is celebrated during winter here. One of the speciality of this festival is the use of 100 drums, which also gives the festival the name '100 Drums Festival'. Let us get to know more about this festival.
This 3-day harvest festival is celebrated by the Garo tribe to thank Misi Saljong (The Sun God) for blessing the region with good harvest. At times, the festival is also celebrated for a whole week. The festival signifies the beginning of winter, which also means the end of harvesting season and labour in the fields.
The music and dance form the major part of the festival. The celebrations happen in Tura, the largest town of the Garo hills in Meghalaya. The villagers gather here to rejoice, sing and dance. The tribal community engages itself in dancing to the traditional music wearing their traditional costumes, drinking chu (rice beer), and also setting up stalls to sell goods that are made out of fish scale, wooden pieces and other things.
Another major attraction of the festival is the music using 100 drums. The men gather with their drums and create a harmonious rhythm that is followed by the dance moves. The festival thus gets its alternate name, The 100 Drums Wangala.
Date of Wangala in 2016: Starts on November 11th
Tura is a town in West Garo Hills, and is the second largest town in Meghalaya. Here's how you can reach West Garo Hills by road, rail or air.
Other places to visit near Tura include Arbella Peak, Asanangre, Bhaitnari and Chibragre among the rest.
Travel to this wonderful land this season, and experience the tribal culture being a part of Wangala Festival!