Shillong, July 15, 2019:

The Northeastern hill State of Meghalaya seems undeterred by the relentless rain and the accompanying floods which have impacted the entire country, including Meghalaya. However, the people still have a reason to smile about as they are still celebrating their indigenous festivals with pomp and glory.

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On Sunday, the people of the hill state came together to celebrate the Behdeinkhlam festival as they splashed around in the water and partook in festivities. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma took to Twitter to share pictures of the festival along with the words: “Witnessed the annual colourful Behdeinkhlam festival at Jowai. The festival gave 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 also shared a bird’s eye pic of the revellers along with the words: “Glimpse of the colourful Behdeinkhlam, a festival of indigenous faith – Naimtre.”

According to the locals, Behdein means to drive away with stick and Khlam means plague or pestilence. It literally means to drive away evils and plague and the evil that pollutes humanity in many forms.

It is used to seek divine blessing for a rich harvest in the year ahead. It’s the most significant festival in the socio-economic life of the Jaintia people those who believe in the Niamtre or traditional faith. Behdeinkhlam festival prays for good health and for the prosperity of the people asking for heavenly blessings for a plentiful harvest of crops.

Behdeinkhlam is a four-day festival where people of different age make their way to the ground called Biar (sacred muddy pool) to wipe away evil from society.

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