Dree Festival Apatani Tribe | Arunachal Pradesh
The Dree Festival involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the Gods. Gods worshipped during this festival are Tamu, Metii , Danyi and Harniang. The festival, a part of Apatani culture of Arunachal Pradesh, is celebrated to appease these Gods so as to avoid famine in the society. Residing in a valley called Ziro which falls in the Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, the Apatanis are famous for their very productive practice of wet rice cultivation. It was invented ages ago without using any form of scientific technologies or modern research. Rice is the staple food of the Apatanis and most festivals of the tribe revolve around agriculture. Dree falls during the month of July each year and is connected with the cultivation of rice.
During the festival, every household prepares the local beer “Apong” and performs cleaning of houses and its surroundings. The head priest (Nyibu) acts as a leader of these celebrations and rituals. The spot for the festival is decided by the priest and the elderly people of the village. It is decorated with branded bamboos. The people follow the existing belief of choosing a place of worship near to a paddy field. The god Donyi is prayed for protection and prosperity of the mankind. Tamu is prayed to protect the plants from harmful pests and insects, while Metii is prayed for controlling of famine and epidemics, and Harniang is prayed for keeping the soil stable and preventing the paddy plants from getting dried.