Seng Kut Snem: Meghalaya Khasi Community Festival
Among all the tribal groups existing in Meghalaya, the Khasi community is one of the largest and has its own culture, religion, beliefs and identity. The Festival of Seng Kut Snem is celebrated in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. It is an annual indigenous festival held in the month of November.
Seng Kut Snem is a festival of Khasi Community which is largely celebrated to preserve and exhibit their culture and traditions. The festival not only is a preservative for the culture of Khasi community, it also acts as a reminder to all cultures across India to retain their cultural and religious significance.
The festival acts as a means of fun and entertainment for the Khasi Community as they sing, dance, play music and have great merriment. Sound of different musical instruments fill the atmosphere with fresh vibrancy. Kids, adults, men and women all come together to celebrate this festival and make it memorable.
Earlier simply a religious act, the festival of Seng Kut Snem has slowly grown in its popularity and entire Shillong waits for this festival year long. Not only for the locals of Shillong, but tourists from outside find it very attractive and interesting.
Seng Kut Snem Dates:
- 2020: Monday, 23 November, 2020
- 2021: Tuesday, 23 November, 2021
- 2022: Wednesday, 23 November, 2022
The Khasi people are the indigenous people of Meghalaya and are the largest ethnic group in the state.
Seng Kut Snem is the day before Khasi New Year, which traditionally takes place on November 24th.
The Khasi calendar is based on the change of the four seasons, known indigenously as ‘Saw Samoi’ – winter, spring, summer and autumn as defined by the crops sown and harvested and influenced by climatic changes, rain and phases of the moon.
While the Khasi people were under the control of the British Empire in 1899, 16 nationalist Khasi youths formed the Seng Khasi to protect their indigenous religion, rich culture and unique language. This was just one in a series of acts of defiance against British rule by the Khasi.
Since then, the movement has gained momentum helping the Khasi people take pride in their unique and rich heritage.
Today Seng Kut Snem serves a dual purpose of marking the end of the year with a tradition thanksgiving festival and also a day when the Seng Khasi celebrate the culture, faith and history of the Khasi.
The festival is marked by speeches and also includes traditional games, folk dances, cultural festivals, and displays of handmade products.