Religious festivals

Yaoshang (March). Manipur’s version of Holi is celebrated with the thabal chongba folk dance.

Aoling Monyu (April). Konyak festival in the Mon region of Nagaland marking the arrival of spring.

Bihu (mid-April). The major festival of Assam, celebrated with singing, dancing and feasts in the villages, to mark the New Year and the onset of spring.

Chapchar Kut (March). In spring before the new sowing season begins, this is the biggest harvest festival in Mizoram.

Moatsu (May). Celebrated by the Ao tribe in Nagaland after the sowing season.

Dree (July). The Apatanis of Ziro in Arunachal observe this agrarian festival in which animal sacrifices are common.

Nongkrem (first week Nov). In Meghalaya, the Khasi tribe give thanks for the harvest over five days. Young men and women in traditional attire and heavy ornaments perform songs and dances at Smit, near Shillong.

Torgya (Nov/Dec/Jan) and Losar (Tibetan New Year; Feb). Arunachal Pradesh festival of the Monpa people in Bomdila and Tawang, with colourful chaam (masked monastic dances) and religious ceremonies.

Music and cultural festivals

Ziro Festival of Music (Sept). Four-day Central Arunachal outdoor music festival with apong (rice beer) and indie music, camping under the stars in the Ziro Valley.

NH7 Weekender (Oct). This popular multiday urban music festival held its first Shillong edition in 2015 and is now slated to be an annual feature. Indian indie and global artists spanning genres of rock, funk, electro and more perform on various stages.

Hornbill Festival (first week Dec). Held annually in Nagaland at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, this is among the Northeast’s largest occasion, showcasing the dance, music, food, games and intriguing culture of different local tribes.

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