Nongkrem dance festival celebrated amid fanfare in Shillong

Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], Nov 16 (ANI): Nongkrem dance festival, an annual event during which prayers are offered for good harvest, peace, and prosperity of the community was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by the inhabitants of the Khasi Hills on November 11-12. The unique dance is performed by the members of Hima Khyrim, a sub-tribe of the indigenous Khasi tribe. During which young men, women and kids dancing to the tunes of drums and pipes are seen clad in their exquisite ethnic attire of red and yellow. The celebrations start with goat sacrifice ceremony which is held at Smit located 15 kilometers to the southwest of Shillong every year. 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 men is known as "Ka Shad Mastieh". They dance by holding the sword in their right hand and whisks in their left. Over the years, the dance carnival has attracted a large number of tourists from all across the globe. This year too, the festival saw a huge footfall of tourists from the nook and corner of the country and the world over. A tourist from Israel said "It is my first visit. I am here for two days but I am traveling in India for four months and this is the best place that I have come across till now and I am excited to spend my rest of the holidays as people are happy that we are here to celebrate our holidays with them." Deepa, another visitor, expressed her delight and said, "It is my first visit and this festival is one of the biggest festivals among the Khasi people. I am delighted to be here." According to organizers festival helps in preserving the rich heritage of the state and at the same time boost the tourist economy of the State.
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