The traditional festival of Arunachal Pradesh, Nyokum is mainly celebrated by the Nyishi tribe. The term ‘Nyokum’ when broken into two words – ‘Nyok’ means land or earth and ‘Kum’ means collectiveness or togetherness. That’s perhaps the reason why celebrating this festival is like inviting all the Gods and Goddesses of the Universe. Nyokum is celebrated to invoke spirits that ensure harmony, prosperity, and well-being of the people is preserved.
On the day of the festival, a special structure called Yugang is made of bamboo. Sacrificial animals are tethered to the bamboo; it’s the priest who decides the number and kinds of animals that have to be given up for sacrifice, or any other offering to be made. They don’t worship an idol here; the way they prays rather unique to their culture.
Nyokum is an exceptionally bright celebration because it mirrors the intriguing social legacy and ethnicity of the Nyishi clan. Nyokum Festival is carried out with a lot of conviction and soul, it is celebrated on February 26 every year. Over the years, it has turned into a movement of solidarity, amicability, and ethnicity. It is typically celebrated in group grounds where individuals wearing customary clothes get together, sing, and dance. During the celebration, the head minister performs ceremonies and prayers are offered to the spirits to bring peace and success to everyone. Men and women in traditional attire hold hands and form a circle, performing the traditional dance as they sing “Nyokum bo tapa debe.” Several competitions exhibiting the traditional art forms are organised during the festival.