Festivals and Games of Baghmara

The common and regular festivities are the ones concerned with agricultural operations. For Garos, the biggest festival is the Wangala, which is more of a celebration of thanksgiving after the harvest in which Saljong (the god who is known to provide human with nature's bounties and ensures their prosperity) is honored. The date for the celebration is not fixed, as it varies from village to village, but generally, the Wangala is celebrated in the month of October.

Before the festival, a lot of preparations take place Among all, the items of food are the first to be collected. The responsibility is on the Nokma of the village to see and take care that all arrangements are in order. Ceremony takes place in his house and in the individual fields fore run the feasting at which guests are literally force-fed by the hosts.

Famous Festival in BaghmaraA huge quantity of food and rice-beer must be prepared well ahead. The capstone of the celebrations is the colorful Wangala Dance, in which the men and women participate in their best clothes. The males and females line up separately to the rhythmic beat of gongs and drums and blowing of horns by the males, both groups scuffle forward in parallel lines. It is followed by the performance of a skilled dancer who ties a large fruit to the end of a string about half a meter in length and by a skilful manipulation of his body, sets it swinging round and round behind him. This part of the dance generally wins excited applause and praise.

There are no games that are organized as such among the Garos, though this does not indicate that they have nothing to amuse themselves with. Games are played occasionally. Contests like jumping contests and other competitions involve more tests of strength. The members of the Nokpantes or Bachelors' Dormitories, which are the young males may organize themselves into groups and engage in such contests as the Wa'pong Sika, which is the Garo version of the tug-of-war. The difference here is that a stout bamboo pole replaces the rope and the contesting teams try push each other beyond a marked line instead of pulling. Relatively, the villages may turnout in strength to take part in communal fishing also.

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