The Dree Festival is an Apatani agricultural rite It involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the Gods - Tamu, Metii and Danyi Pilo(Sun and Moon God). The purpose of the festival is to appease these Gods so that famine could be avoided. This rite is observed by the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh, India .The Apatanis, who inhabit a tranquil pine clad valley called Ziroat the core of Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, are famous for their unique practice of wet rice cultivation .One would wonder as to how the early Apatanis had brilliantly discovered the magnificent irrigated rice cultivation without help of scientific technologies. Rice is the staple food of the Apatanis, as such for its bumper harvest the nature God and Goddesses are prayed duringthe Dree Festival from 4 July to 7 July of each year.
During the Dree festival, four main Alters (Agyangs) are installed and deities are appeased thereby; these are Danyi, Tamu, Metii and Harniang.
1. Danyi – Danyi is prayed for protecting of mankind and for prosperous life. Earlier, the Danyi was not performed during the Dree rituals, it was for first time introduced in 1967 aftersacrificing a Mithun.
2. Tamu- It is prayed for eating up harmful pests and insects.
3. Metii- It is prayed for control of out break of famine and epidemics.
4. Harniang- It is prayed for keeping the soil stable and to prevent the paddy plants from drying up.
The Festival of Holi
The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated in most parts of India during February-March (in the month ofPhalguna according to the Hindu calendar). The celebrations vary depending on region and local traditions but the common part is exchange of colors.
Legends of Holi
* Holika was an aunt of a boy named Prahlad, who died in the fire arguing against her king brother Hiranyakashipu who had declared himself as God. In her honor, an effigy of Holika is burnt in a bonfire in some parts of India.* Holi was also the day when Kama, the God of Love disturbed Lord Shiva's meditation and was burnt down by Shiva. An effigy of Kama is burnt in some parts of India on the day of the Holi festival.
* Holi was also the name of a female demon Putana who tried to kill boy Krishna, by giving him her poisoned nipples to suckle. The miracle boy Krishna is said to have sucked so intensely that hedrained the demon of her life. Hence the biggest celebration of Holi takes place at Mathura.
On the day of the Holi, people (men and women) irrespective of caste and creed mingle together and exchange colors. The celebrations can get wild and rowdy -- it is one of the few occasions of the year that the sexes are allowed to mix freely. People use tools and tricks to spray, paint anddrown friends and relatives in color as the accompanying picture exhibit will demonstrate.
Bandi or Bhandi festivals ("Bandi Habba") are pre-harvest rituals observed by farmers asking for a good crops. Bandi festivals are observed in northern parts of Karnataka, and they also glorify the women who committed the Sati suicide sacrifice. The festival lasts about a week, climaxingon the last day when the people go into trance chanting local Goddess's (or Mahasati's) glory. It is accompanied by bird sacrifices and fire-walking.
Onam is the most important harvest festival of Kerala. Ranging from four days to ten days, all the activities during this season are centered around worshipping, music, dances, sports, boat races and good food. Being a harvestfestival, it is time to thank God for the bountiful yield and enjoy the bounty of nature after a year of hard labor. Elaborate procession of Trichur and spectacular snake boat races on River Pampa mark the merry-making nature of the festival. Women dress up in new saris and heavy jewelry and make elaborate and intricate designs of 'rangolis' (with colored rice paste) and 'pookkalam' (with flowers)...