SHILLONG, April 11 - Shad Suk Mynsiem, one of the most colourful festivals of Meghalaya, was today celebrated at Weiking Grounds here with thousands of people, dancers and musicians participating in the observation with joy and fervour.
The festival of the indigenous Khasi tribe is celebrated each year during the month of April. Young men, women and children alike took part in the dance in their exquisite traditional costumes. Earlier, priests invoked the Almighty for his blessings.
�The number of dancers is increasing each year. This year we have about 1,500 dancers participating in the festival. We also try to bring in something new to the festival in terms of decorations,� president of Seng Khasi, BS Rumnong said.
Shad Suk Mynsiem (dance of the happy hearts) was first celebrated on April 14 and 15, 1911 at Weiking Ground at Mawkhar, Shillong. The dance is part of the Seng Khasi�s objective to further the ancient socio-religious cultural heritage of the Khasi people and to thank God for his blessings at the end of the harvest season.
During the dance, female dancers wear Jainpien or a piece of cloth tied around the waist. A velvet blouse called Mukmor and a Sarong-like garment called Jainsem. Gold and silver necklaces together with bracelets and armlets are the ornaments worn by the female dancers.
But, the most important part of the adornments is the crown known as the Pansngiat made of gold or silver signifying the dancer�s dignity, purity of heart and modesty. The crown also consists of the Tiew Lasubon � a wild orchid symbolising the unmarried dancer�s chastity.
Male dancers wear the Jainboh a colourful silk dhoti. A sleeve-less jacket called Jymphong. A waist band of colourful silk called Jain Syngkai and a red or yellow turban of pure silk called Jain Spong Khow attached with bird feathers. The men also wear gold and silver necklaces and earrings.
There are six different mode of dance in Shad Suk Mynsiem. These are Shad Nalai, Dum Dum, Klang, Padiah, Pyllun and Mastieh. These dances continue till sunset to the melody of the drum
(Ksing and Nakra Bom) beats and the Tangmuri (flute).
Several dignitaries came to witness the event which included Home Minister Roshan Warjri, Paul Lyngdoh of UDP and religious leaders of different faiths.