‘Behdieñkhlam’, one of the important cultural and religious festivals celebrated in Meghalaya every year in July concluded at Jowai in West Jaiñtia Hills district on Sunday.
On the last day of the four-day annual festival, dignitaries including state chief minister, Conrad K Sangma, other ministers and MLAs, chief justice of Meghalaya High Court attended the festival.
In his address, the chief minister spoke about the importance of culture and festivals in the State including Behdeiñkhlam and how to promote and preserve them further.
He also assured government support to promote various festivals that are there in the State.
“The festival gives an opportunity to connect to our roots and has enabled us to reinstate the spirit of peace, unity and fraternity of our diverse culture,” the chief minister said.
O R Challam, president, Seiñraij Jowai, thanked the DoNER Minister for attending the four-day festival which has very strong, emotional, sentimental, cultural and spiritual importance for the people of the region.
On the occasion, the chief minister also released a book ‘Traditional Systems of Jaiñtia Community, Change and Continuity’.
Held every year at Jowai town, the headquarters of West Jaiñtia Hills district, thousands of men, both young and old danced together in muddy water of Pung Aitnar on the concluding day of the festival.
Behdieñkhlam is celebrated with rituals and prayers for good health, property and bumper harvest.
‘Behdeiñkhlam’ means driving away plagues and all kinds of evil spirits with prayer to the Almighty, and it is one of the important religious festivals among the people of Jaiñtia Hills of Meghalaya.