Rongchu Gala is a popular north-eastern festival, celebrated in India, especially in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya. It is a festival mainly observed by the Garo tribe, spread over Meghalaya and nearby places. The festival title comprises of two words: Rongchu Gala. The term Rongchu literally means flattened rice, whereas Gala means, throwing or offering. The festival primarily is a religious and spiritual offering, wherein, flattened rice is thrown into a river, or a spring in absence of a river, during the wee hours of the morning. This flattened rice is from the first harvested paddy of the season from a field, which is first offered to a regional deity of the Garo tribe, before being sacrificed into the river waters along with a fowl. This year, Rangcho Gala will be observed on the 18th of August.
Although the festival is slowly beginning to lose its importance due to the growing widespread of Christianity among the local people alongside modernization, it is still practiced by most Garo people in the month of August. In some cultures, the paddy was taken from the Jhum field, and for the ritualistic sacrificing of the fowl, locals carried baskets of the paddy while reciting words from the ritual, in order to keep all evil spirits and diseases away from the Jhum field.
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