Nongkrem Dance Festival Khasi Tribe | Meghalaya
Nongkrem Dance Festival (held annually in November) is a five day festival which is celebrated for the harvest thanksgiving by the Khasi tribe. The Nongkrem Dance is the most important festival of the Khyrim state. The festival is associated mostly with goat sacrifice and is held at Smit, which is around 15 kilometres to the southwest of Shillong. The Nongkrem word means “Goat Killing Ceremony” Nongkrem’. The word nongkrem was used because in the past years, The tribes used to celebrate this festival at Nongkrem, which is the headquarter of Khyrim state. This five day long festival exhibits many religious. Drums and Pipes are played continuously during this festival to mark the occasion. A major feature of this festival is young virgin women, who come out to dance on the specially prepared festival field. The women come dressed in their traditional costumes and heavy gold ornaments.
The traditional dance is performed by dancers who are the young men and women of the tribe. The youngsters get dressed up in exquisite attire. The silver or gold crowns worn by the tribes on their heads signify the glory and dignity of the Khasi society. The dance performed by the man is known as “Ka Shad Mastieh”. The men dance by holding the sword in their right hand and whisks in their left. The sword is used to symbolize a man’s defense of himself and his family. Men wear dhotis, full sleeved shirts, embroidered sleeveless coats and turbans.
Prayers are offered to Ka Pah Syntiew and U Suid Nia Tong Syiem. The prayer is offered for good harvest, peace and prosperity for all the community people.