What is Seng Kut Snem and Its Importance for the Khasis in Meghalaya?

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SENG KUT SNEM 2022: Seng Kut Snem is a festival of the Khasi community to commemorate the preservation and exhibition of their culture and traditions. The Khasi community is an indigenous group of people of Meghalaya and is the largest ethnic group in the state. Interestingly, the Khasi are one of the few remaining matrilineal societies in the world. The festival is celebrated the day before Khasi New Year, annually. This year, Seng Kut Snem will be celebrated on November 23.

“The annual Seng Kut Snem celebrates the Seng Khasi Movement and the efforts of the Seng Khasi to preserve, protect & uphold indigenous Khasi faith & culture. On its 122nd foundation day, I extend my best wishes to the citizens of Meghalaya,” Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had tweeted last year.

Seng Kut Snem 2022: Celebrations

Seng Kut Snem is held in Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong. The day brings together all the people of the community as they enjoy themselves at the festival by singing, dancing, playing music and having a jolly time. People can hear the sound of various musical instruments filling the festive atmosphere. It is marked as a bank holiday in the state of Meghalaya.

Seng Kut Snem: History and Significance

However, the festival was not always as popular as it is now. In fact, Seng Kut Snem was celebrated as a religious act earlier. It has slowly gained popularity to become a widely celebrated occasion in the state today. People around Shillong await Seng Kut Snem all year long. Many tourists also like to visit the capital of Meghalaya during this time to experience the festival’s vibrancy.

People can witness a cultural and colourful procession known as ‘Laid Pyni Riti’. It is a showcase of the beauty of Khasi life, traditions, and culture. This procession ends at the Weiking Ground, Jaiaw. Following this, special prayers are offered by the Seng Khasi priests. There are also speeches to mark the day. You can also see people enjoying traditional games, folk dances, and cultural festivals, and enjoy a wonderful display of handmade products.

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