DREE FESTIVAL OF THE APATANIS
he Apatanis who inhabit a tranquil pine clad valley called Ziro at the core of Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, are famous for their unique practice of wet rice cultivation. They are also known for their sustainable agricultural practices and the agricultural cycles govern their everyday lives. The agricultural festival of Dree is the highlight of this cycle.In olden days the Dree was observed on different days according to the convenience of the concerned ‘Dree Goras’ or ‘Pantangs’ (an organizing committee at village level). It could not be called as a festival in true sense, rather it was a ritual performed by the Apatanis. However, Dree Biisi (traditional folk song) amongst the girls, and games and sports like wrestling, high jumps etc. amongst the boys took place in the village level though they were not in a large scale as it is today. Now it is the biggest festival in Apatani valley, which is celebrated at other places as well where ever the Apatanis live.
- Vibrant Traditional Dances
- Indigenous Games and Sports.
- Exhibition of Handloom and Handicrafts.
- Film and Documentaries.
- Traditional Fashion Parade.
- Food Festival and Flower Show.
- Photography & Painting Exhibition.
- Cultural Evening & Live Shows.
On 4 July in the evening the Dree priest traditionally inaugurates the Dree festival in their respected villages. Next day on the 5th July, Dree is officially solemnized and celebrated at common ground with traditional gaiety
Things to keep in mind before traveling
- Every tourist visiting Arunachal Pradesh needs to obtain an Inner Line Permit and a Protected Area Permit which can be collected from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati or Tezpur airports.
- The weather in the north-east is pretty unpredictable, so be prepared to have delays due to the bad weather.
- Most roads in the northeast are being converted into double lane, so right now they aren’t in the best shape.
- Locals are friendly and helpful. Be patient as not everyone will know fluent Hindi or English.
- Most cell phone networks don’t work well, so inform your family or friends about your whereabouts whenever possible.
- Don’t forget to carry some ready to cook food packets or instant noodles if you’re strictly a vegetarian.
- Carry extra batteries, power banks and most importantly warm clothing.
- Keep at least a couple of extra days in hand in case of any problems like landslides and bad weather on your way.
The nearest Domestic Airport is Salonibari Airport, Tezpur, roughly 9six hour drive from Tawang. It is well connected to Kolkata and Guwahati through Air India flight. The nearest International Airport from Tawang is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, roughly 480 Kms from Tawang. It is connected with the major cities like Delhi, Imphal, Kolkata, Agartala, Aizawl, Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Silchar, Dimapur, Jorhat and Mumbai.
The nearest railway station is Naharlagun/Itanagar, roughly about 4 hours drive from Bhalukpong. There are daily trains running from Itanagar to Guwhati and Rajdhani express which runs twice a week.
You can book a cab or travel by public transport from Guwahati to Bomdila. Or else if you prefer travelling by the bus then a bus leaves Guwahati at 6 A.M and there is also a night super which leaves at 7 P.M in the evening. The journey from Guwahati to Bomdila takes roughly around 8 to 10 hours depending on the road conditon. The next day you can take a Cab,Tata sumo or a bus which leaves at 6 A.M from Bomdila to Tawang daily.
ALL DRESSED AND READY
KIDS PERFORM DURING THE FESTIVAL
STREET CARNIVAL IN THE STREETS OF ZIRO
TUG OF WAR
WOMEN IN THEIR TRADITONAL DRESS AND TATTOED FACES