The Wangala Festival, also known as the “100 Drums” festival, is a harvest festival celebrated by the “Garo tribes” in Meghalaya. During this festival, people offer various sacrifices to the deity Sanljong or the Sun God.
The Wangala festival is usually celebrated for two days, but sometimes it can also last for a week. Celebrations include serving local rice beer to the Sun God, dressing in colorful traditional outfits and dancing to the beat of 100 drums. The dance form has a popular pattern where two parallel lines are formed, one of women and the other of men. With the beat of the drums, the lines move in rhythm.
2022 Wangala Festival Date
The 100 Drums Festival is scheduled to take place for three days this year starting November 10. The three-day post-harvest festival is organized by the Wangala Hundred Drums Festival Committee.
History of Wangala Festival
The Wangala festival is the winter harvest festival for the people of the Garo tribe in Meghalaya. During this festival, people pay homage to ‘Misi Sanljong’ or ‘Pattigipa Ra’rongipa’ or the Sun God!
The popular belief is that the dance form performed during the Wangala festival was initially performed by aquatic creatures. Although humans were invited to the festival, they had no idea of the dance form. It is believed that crabs taught humans how to perform this particular dance. Therefore, dance moves appear to be derived from carb moves.
The first Wangala dance performance was held on December 6-7, 1976 in Asanang, about 18 km from Tura. Since then, the 100 Drums Festival has been celebrated every year.
Significance of Wangala Festival
The Wangala Festival celebrations honor the Sun God and also mark the end of the long harvest season. It also means the start of the winter season. For the Garo tribe of Meghalaya, the 100 drums festival is also a way to preserve and promote their cultural identity. They also showcase their culture and traditions to the rest of the world during the Wangala Festival.
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