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 Khasi community festival to commemorate the preservation and display of their culture and traditions. The Khasi community is an indigenous group of people from 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 on the eve of the Khasi New Year, every year. 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 and defend the indigenous Khasi faith and culture. On its 122nd founding day, I extend my best wishes to citizens of Meghalaya,” Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma tweeted last year.

Seng Kut Snem 2022: Celebrations

Seng Kut Snem takes place in the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong. The day brings together all the people in the community who enjoy the festival by singing, dancing, playing music and having fun. People can hear the sound of various musical instruments filling the festive atmosphere. It is marked as a public holiday in the state of Meghalaya.

Seng Kut Snem: History and Meaning

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 slowly rose in popularity to become a widely celebrated occasion in the state today. People around Shillong wait for Seng Kut Snem all year round. Many tourists also like to visit the capital of Meghalaya during this time to experience the vibrancy of the festival.

People can witness a cultural and colorful procession known as ‘Ugly 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 handicrafts.

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