A sunny morning ensconced by an atmosphere of excitement and spirited revelry greet visitors of the Anthurium Festival held in Mizoram.
The festival, organised by the State government to promote tourism and to encourage anthurium cultivation in Mizoram by reaching out to the younger generations, is gaining fame as one of the most prominent festivals held in the North-East.
The festival also looks to promote local artists who set up stalls to display their wares. A variety of stalls displaying wonderful bamboo work, from jewellery to furniture and hats decorated with anthurium blossoms are crowd favourites. Anthurium blossoms of different varieties and colours are also put on display, showcasing the myriad varieties of the blossom like the Black Queen, New Green, Xavia, Eline and so on.
The programme includes a whole host of events, from traditional dances to music performances by popular Mizoram singers, Dances like Cheraw, celebration dance which draws inspiration from nature, where four people hold two crossed pairs of bamboo staves and female dancers perform by stepping in and out of the bamboo blocks.,/span>
The Anthurium Girls, dressed in different costumes for different days were show-stoppers, with ingenious designs incorporating anthurium flowers.
Fashion shows and costume displays, music festivals and dance performances by urban dance crews are other highlights of the festival. Another crowd-puller is the variety of delectable food stalls. Many types of traditional Mizo dishes, as well as other cuisines are served.
Along with the cultural performances, a carnival is also set up with many games on offer for visitors to try their luck. Darts, card games, and other innovative games which involve bringing down a tower tins with softballs, keep the crowd amused. The stakes remain at Rs.10 for one attempt and the winner took all.
Photo opportunities are aplenty as graceful and synchronised dances offer many good frames. Dressed in their customary attire the performers pose gladly for cameras.
Mizo history is a rich treasure-trove of knowledge, and it is important to note the fact that a largely oral way of disseminating traditions (of the pre-colonial time before the missionaries kept written records) still exists. The festival has potential to become one of the most popular festivals of the North-East and this is possible with consistent efforts on behalf of both the State and Central governments, and the people have already shown their enthusiasm in participating in showcasing their proud heritage.