In Khasi Hills you shall come across the magnificent fiestas that are celebrated with tremendous pomp and grandeur. It is a grand carnival that witnesses tremendous overflow of wealth; sacrifice of animals; and an overall religious fervor that seems to grasp the entire state.
Nongkram Dance is one of the superb carnivals that manifests itself with a colorful hue and brings in more shades to the lives of the Jaintia Hill inhabitants. The magnificent Jaintia Hills with its divine appearance enchants the tourists and the ornately tainted carnivals add more luster to the snowy peaks of the Jaintia Hills; Nongkram is no exception to that.
Description of the Nongkram Dance:
Nongkram Dance is the religious dance festival in Meghalaya, and is mainly celebrated with tremendous zeal and fervor by the inhabitants of the Khasi Hills. In Khasi Hills the Nongkrem Dance Carnival is also known as Shad Nongkrem and is performed every year at Smit, which is the capital of Khyrem Syiemship near Shillong. There is an important event that is integrally linked to this festival; it is the execution of goats.
The sacrifice of animal at the Altar is a part and parcel of the ceremony, and is known as Pomblang among the people of Khasi Hill. Sacrifices are offered to the forefathers and foremothers of the ruling class, to the reigning God of Shillong Peak and also to the 1st Uncle.
The fiesta is accompanied by dances by young boys and girls. It is worthwhile to mention over here that the boys of Meghalaya are also skilled dancers and sometimes more efficient than their beautiful counterparts. The dance of the men folks is a splendid ceremony and you can observe the men holding yak whisk on one hand and changing beats.
The dance requires tremendous amount of vigor and vibrancy. It is a sort of paying respect to religion and Albert Einstein said “To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.” This is because religion is perceivable in various forms and texture amongst mankind who offer worship to the illimitable power in their simple, amiable ways. Trust is the keyword and Nongkram Dance to please the Almighty is an accurate example of this trust.
Time for the celebration of Nongkram Dance:
The Nongkram Dance is celebrated in the month of May, and often in November. This is due to the shifting of lunar position which determines the time for the next Nongkram Carnival.