Tawang Festival 2019- A Delight of Arunachal Pradesh
What: Tawang Festival, 2019
When: October 29- October 31, 2019
Where: Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Recognized the world over as the town that houses the second largest Monastery in the world, Tawang is a small city in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the North Eastern part of India.
The picturesque mountainous town that is surrounded by glacial lakes is a popular tourist destination in India by virtue of the presence of one of the most sacred Buddhist sites.
The Government of Arunachal Pradesh introduced the Tawang Festival in 2012 as an important step to promote tourism, reveal the massive tourism potential and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state.
Photo from the official Tawang Festival page
Tawang Festival is a lively extravaganza that is spread over 3 days of celebrations where monastic tribes present their vivid cultural practices with performances like the legendary masked dances. There is also a concerted effort at exhibiting handicrafts and handlooms of the state and of course, introducing the delectable cuisine of the region.
The festival begins with the traditional parade of Buddhist monks from the Tawang Monastery to the festival site. Called Sebang, this tradition is followed every year to declare the festival open.
The finely festooned streets are filled with revelers from across the state, ready to either participate in the various festival activities or enjoy the fun from the sidelines.
You can expect to have a great time at the Tawang Festival with these performances:
- Buddhist religious functions
- Street performances from monastic tribes of Arunachal Pradesh
- Native sports and games to encourage skills of the local youth
- Choe khor kora – a traditional Harvesting Ritual of the Monpa Tribe
- The Legendary Keng Cham Dance- Demon dance that symbolizes defeat of evil
- Authentic Handloom and Handicrafts of Arunachal Pradesh are exhibited and are available for sale
- Photography and Painting exhibitions
- Cultural performances in the form of music, dance and street plays with performances from Arunachali artists
- The impressive Aji Lhamu Dance- basically the Tibetan version of Ramayana
- The grandiose Yak Dance- an important part of the folklore, it won the best tableau award at the Republic Day Parade in 2017.
Like any festival worth a revisit, Tawang Festival too lays great prominence on serving great food to visitors. You can nibble on traditional food and local liquors of diverse tribes of Arunachal Pradesh here. A few exceptional grubs that you should must try are- Adi, Nyishi, Apatani and Monpa.
The Tawang Festival attracts a number of tourists in the month of October, including steadily increasing count of celebrities like movie stars John Abraham and Arjun Rampal. Previous years also saw the American ambassador to India, Richard Varma gracing the occasion and enjoying the festivities with other tourists and locals there.
The blissful city of Tawang wears an added layer of infectious festive look for the three days of the festival; plan a visit to Arunachal Pradesh during this period and you’re guaranteed to have a remarkable holiday in the lap of spirituality.