Festivals of Northeast

Boori Boot Yullo
The Bori Boot festival is one of the major traditional festivals which is exclusively celebrated by the Hill-Miris tribe in the Upper Subansiri and Lower Subansiri district. The Hill-Miris society celebrates this festival on a community basis from 6th to 8th February of every year for three consecutive days. The Hill-Miris society as one of the major section of Donipolo and their common ancestry is being called ABO-TANI. They celebrate number of festivals at different period of the year. This Boori Boot festival is the way to offer gratitude for successful harvest of the crops.

Boori Boot means to get together irrespective of caste, creed, age and sex to celebrate the arrival of spring and successful harvest. Another aspect of this festival is that people pray to the spirit of Boori Boot so that it blesses them with prosperity and free them from diseases of any kind. During this festival everyone plays with etting (a mixture of apong and rice powder) which symbolizes the sign of purification and festivity. ‘Etting’ is co-piously applied on one and all. All the functions of this festival have been organized by the elder’s members of Hill-Miris tribe. The young members do all the work under the elder’s guidance. The high priest who is known as Nibu’ performs the rituals and conducts the sacrifice on behalf of the people. This puja is called Bori Puja (Bori-Wee). Every behavior in this festival has its specific meaning. In this festival, all the sacred works and most important rituals performed by affluent individual families or villagers.

Losar Festival
Losar or The New Year festival is the most important festival of the Monpas of Tawang District in Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpa Tribe celebrates this to commemorate the advent of new year as the coming of a new year. This is really a major extravaganza in Arunachal as it signifies the start of a new year for Tibetans.

Before the advent of the Losar festival in Tawang people can be seen cleaning their homes and discarding all unused and old items. It is believed that by doing so one can usher in good health, peace and prosperity to the house. The Tawang Monastery is the main venue for this festival where elaborate dances in brilliantly colored attires are performed; they display the mysticism of Himalayan Buddhism and the event is considered to the completion of a year. The event also emphasizes family ties and colorful rituals bless the land for the coming agricultural season.

This three-day Losar happens every year on the eleventh of February. On the first day of the festival, the priests make offering to the highest priest called the Dharmapala or Palden Lhamo. The streets are filled with Tibetan tribes wearing colorful clothes and masses visit friends and family and wish them Tashi Delek (best wishes). Also according to the local tradition, sprouted barley seeds and buckets of tsampa (roasted barley flour with butter) and other grains are offered on home altars to ensure a good harvest. On the second day of the festival called Gyalpo Losar, all national leaders. Country heroes and kings are honoured. On the third and final day of the festival known as Choe-Kyong Losar, people make offerings to Dharmapala and tie prayer flags on the rooftops of every house. Although the spiritual observance ends on the third day, this celebratory mood continues for as long as two weeks. Monpas enjoy this time with high festive spirit and do a lot of merry making. Feasting with local drinks drinking is organized together with friends and relatives. This festival depicts the social-cultural and native living of the Monpas.

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