The Hundred Drums Wangala Festival, one of the major tourist attractions for the people of Garo Hills, will be held on November 13-14, albeit in a watered down version owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
In a break from tradition, the festival, which had been held for over 40 years in the village of Asanang, will now move to Chibragre, a tourist spot around 5 kilometres away.
In September Highland Post reported that residents and some of the festival’s organising committee wanted to cancel the event in its entirety but committee Chairperson, LR Ch Momin, was in favour of a limited festival involving only a few customary rituals.
Confirming the development, only three to four dance troupes will be featured, the organizing committee of the festival stated, and all Covid-19 protocols will be adhered to during the event.
“This year will be just to ensure traditions are respected and continued and, as such, the numbers will be reduced to ensure protocols for the pandemic can be maintained,” said one of the organizers, FK Marak.
The organizers informed that they were in talks with Speaker of the Meghalaya Assembly, Metbah Lyngdoh, for his presence as the chief guest.
“Wangala is the most important post-harvest festival of the Garo tribe and is something everyone looks forward to. Unfortunately, with the pandemic still very far from over, we will be going through a truncated version of the festival. Hopefully things will get better in the future,” added Marak.