Itanagar, April 15, 2019:
As the people of Assam celebrate the festival of traditions ‘Rongali Bihu’, their neighbors in Arunachal Pradesh are celebrating the ‘Sangken’ festival as the traditional New Year’s Day is celebrated from 13 to 15 April by the Theravada Buddhist Communities. It, in fact, coincides with the New Year of many calendars.
The Sangken festival is celebrated by the people of the Khampti tribe. The festival is also celebrated by Singpho, Tai Khamyang, Tangsa and of Arunachal Pradesh, and Tai Phake, Tai Aiton and Tai Turung communities of Assam.
Sangken generally falls in the month of ‘Nuean Ha’, the fifth month of the year of the Khamti Lunar calendar coinciding with the month of April. It is celebrated in the last days of the old year and the Lunar New Year begins on the day just after the end of the festival.
The main attraction of the festival is splashing clean water, which is the symbol of peace and purity.
Sangken is celebrated as Songkran in other South East Asian countries. Songkran is a new year festival in the countries like Thailand, Laos, etc., while the Tai Phake celebrates Sangken to invoke the blessings of the Lord Buddha.
This year, Arunachal Pradesh Governor BD Mishra has extended warm greetings to the people of the State on the occasion of Sangken, popularly known as ‘water festival’.