festivals-of-ne_

Festivals of Northeast

Arunachal Pradesh

Reh Festival
Reh is one of the most important festivals of the Idus. It is celebrated during the month of February. But the people who inhabit snow fall areas of the Talo, Amru, and Dri villages of the Dibang valley celebrate it during summer and monsoon.

The Idus believe that they are the sons and daughters of the divine mother ‘Nanyi Inyitaya’. The Idus people believe that Nanyi Inyitaya is their mother and they can only get her blessings only when they perform the Puja or celebrate the Reh festival. But none can get her blessings and keep alive bond of brotherhood and social feeling strong, unless one performs the puja or celebrate the Reh festival.

The festival requires a number of sacrificial buffaloes for offering to the great mother ‘Nanyi Inyitaya’. Presents such as money in cash and pigs are given to the relatives. The festival being very expensive, all arrangements and preparations for the festival have to be made four or five years before the actual celebration of the festival.

As such a person wanting to celebrate this festival has to take resort to the system locally called ‘Ada’ which is nothing but collection of mithuns, pigs, cash, and money etc. When ‘Ada’ is completed a tentative year is fixed about one year ahead of the actual celebration. After completion of Ada, a tentative year is fixed, which is generally one year ahead of the actual celebration. The preparation of rice beer in large scale locally called ‘Yunyiphri’ is under taken, three to four months before the actual celebration.

After all necessary arrangements and preparations are made; ‘Tayi’ a form of calendar is served to all kith and kin as an invitation to come to the celebration on scheduled dates. The ‘Tayi’ is counted by knots on a string and each knot is cut off as a night passes on, one after another. The invited kith and kin arrive at the place of celebration when two knots remain on the string.

The festival is celebrated for 6 consecutive days and the first day is called Andropu. This day is observed by offering prayers for the festival to pass on without any obstacles. The mithuns are brought and tied near the house. The people do Naya dance during the night. Eyanli is the second day and may be termed as killing day of animals such as mithuns and buffaloes. All the guests who attend this festival are entertained with rice, meat and rice beer. The third day is called Iyili. On this particular day a heavy feast is arranged and everybody is entertained. Presents of meal-rice are also supplied to the neighbouring villagers who fail to come to the festival.

Ilyiromunyi is the fourth day of the festival. There is not much feasting on this day. The priest only performs the rituals in favour of worshiper for bestowing upon him wealth, all round prosperity and for general well-being. Omen is observed by pouring ‘Yu’ rice beer into the ears of a pig, bound and laid on the ground. If the pig does not move, it is considered evil and result in bad crops, epidemic etc otherwise it is good.

The fifth day is called Aru-Go. On this day the remaining food stuff and other drinks are prepared for the feast and taken with co-villagers. The sixth day is the concluding day of the festival and is known as ‘Etoanu’. On this day the blood smeared seeds are sown in the fields and rice beer is poured at the trunk of the stump for the goddess of the house hold.

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