Reh Festival Mishmi Tribe | Arunachal Pradesh
Celebrated during February and July, Reh is a vibrant festival of the Idu Mishmi community, observed to seek prosperity and welfare of families and crop. Rituals, dances, cuisine and folklore are important during this the celebrations.
Reh is the most significant festival for the Idu people of the Mishmi tribe. The Idus living in lower elevations and plains celebrate the festival during February, while the tribesmen living in snowy areas celebrate it during summers when the climate is warm and shoal of fishes can be found in the rivers.
The Idu people believe that Nanyi Inyitaya is their mother and they can only get her blessings when they perform the rituals and celebrate the Reh. The festival starts with the sacrifice of buffaloes for offering to the great mother. Socials bonds are appreciated and respected where relatives are gifted with money and pigs.
The festival is an expensive affair, thus people start with all the arrangements and preparations months beforehand. A local system called Ada involves the collection of pigs, cash, money etc from the community which is utilized in the celebrations.
‘Yunyiphri’, the preparation of rice beer, is undertaken three to four months before the actual celebration. This is important to the tribe the brews come out well.
Reh is celebrated for six consecutive days. The first day is called Andropu which is observed by offering prayers for the festival to pass on without any obstacles. The people make merry and dance during the night. The second day involves animal sacrifices and guests are entertained with rice, meat and beer. The third day is Iyili where a royal feast is arranged. On Ilyiromunyi, the fourth day, priests perform rituals for wealth, prosperity and wellbeing. The fifth day is called Aru-Go where remaining food and drinks are shared between different villages. The last day of the festival is Etoanu. On this day, blood smeared seeds are sown in the fields and rice-beer is poured for the goddesses.