Wangala Festival: All You Need to Know About the 100 Drum Festival of Meghalaya

Meghalaya, Nov 13: The Wangala Festival which is also known as the 100 drum festival is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in India’s north-eastern state of Meghalaya. The festival has been celebrated since 1976, it’s the most important festival of the Garo tribe and attracts a lot of tourists. During this festival, tribals offer sacrifices to please their deity Saljong, the Sun God.

While the celebration usually lasts for two days, it sometimes can continue for even a week. This year the Wangala festival celebration will begin on November 12 and will be held while following the COVID-19 guidelines laid down by the government.

Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma shared the glimpse of the 44th Hundred Drums Wangala Festival at Wangala A’dam on twitter and wrote, “Glad to attend the 44th Hundred Drums Wangala Festival at Wangala A’dam, Chibagre, Tura. The Wangala Festival is a special festival that we identify as a celebration of our roots & our identity & as a Garo, it is a great honour to be a part of it.”

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Check out all you need to know about the Wangala:

  1. The Wangala festival is celebrated in honour of the Sun God and marks the end of the long harvest season. The celebration signifies the end of a long toil period in the field for the Garo tribe before the start of the winters.
  2. The Wangala is also known as the Festival of Hundred Drums and is celebrated with different forms of dances on the tunes of folk songs played on drums and primitive flute made of buffalo horns.
  3. From Young ones to senior citizens everyone joins the celebrations together and while men play the drums, women perform traditional dance form, Dama Dagota on various folk songs to please God Saljong.
  4. The first day of the festival is celebrated with a Ragula ceremony which is performed in the house of the village’s chief. People dress up in colourful costumes with feathered headgears and dance to the rhythms of long oval-shaped drums on the second day of celebration, Kakkat.
  5. While the epicentre of the Wangala celebration is Tula town in Meghalaya, the festival is observed in the purest form in the West Garo Hills.
  6. For Garo Tribe in Meghalaya, the festival is a way to preserve and promote their cultural identity and they exhibit their tradition in their celebrations.