Assam Celebrates Ali Aye Ligang With Traditional Fervour

Ali-Aye-Ligang festival
Ali-Aye-Ligang festival

Gohpur, February 14, 2019

Festivities have gripped the state of Assam with celebrations of Ali Aye Ligang, the much-awaited festival of the Mishing community. The Gohpur town of Biswanath district along with the rest of the state are observing the festival with gaiety and fervour from February 14th, 2019. The festival will continue for the next 14 days.

Ali-Aye-Ligang means the first sowing of roots and fruits. Where ‘Ali‘ stands for seeds, ‘Aye‘ stands for fruits and ‘Ligang‘ for sowing. The traditional spring festival of the ethnic Mishing community is celebrated on the first Wednesday of Phagun (Spring) month. It marks the onset of the beginning of the Spring season for sowing seeds.

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“This year we are planning to observe the festival in broader perspectives and are excited as the season of sowing has finally arrived. We will sing, dance and prepare apong (traditional rice beer). Around 50 women are here in our village, they have prepared a traditional Mishing dance which will be performed today and on February 27th, 2019, when the festival ends”, said a local.

Mishing women dancing
A snapshot of Mishing women dancing to the tune of traditional music. Courtesy: TIME8

Another local added, “We have been preparing for this festival for a month now and we have lined up with a lot of things to celebrate the festival,”

Mishing women preparing rice beer (apong)
Mishing women preparing rice beer (apong). Courtesy: TIME8

While speaking about the festival another local informed that during the festival the youths participate in ‘Gumraag Soman‘ and dance to the tune of folk songs and melodies of ‘oi: nitom‘.

The first day of the festival is marked by the ceremonial start of paddy sowing. Activities like ploughing and tree cutting are forbidden during the festival. On the last day of the festival, a grand feast is organized which includes various dishes, especially pork delicacies.

Inputs: Moon Gogoi