Arunachal: Sartang community celebrates TANG Festival

The SARTANG community celebrated TANG festival in Salari village, APLA speaker Thongdok, Dirang MLA Phurpa Tsering took part in the festival.


Dirang ( Arunachal Pradesh ) 

TANG FESTIVAL-  A brief history and background

Like many other festivals of different race and tribes, “The Tang Festival” is one of the most important  ritual of the Sartang Community  of West Kameng district.

“Tang” refers to the omnipresent Almighty god , who is the giver and provider of all the happiness and grief as well.

Every Tribe  has thei r own belief,  faith and theory of their origin. As per Sartang mythology and belief , they migratd from the eastern part of the great Himalayas . Their forefather “Ashu Zeng Zeng” migrated from “SRI THANGLI”  ( Mount Gorichen ) and settled here  with his wife ” AYA NGOIUZHUNG” .

ASHA ZENG ZENG , AYA NGOIZHUNG had four sons. 1- Rongra -Dingla, 2- Mijen-Mina, 3-Jeri-Jeson   and Thonso Bruson .

During the course of their migration they first setteled at Duwa Dija  ( presently Longtin Village under Nafra Circle)  and Lichi Liba.  few years later the brother migrated  further and eventually

1- Rongra- Dingla, the eldest setteled down at KHAMPA LINGCHO ( presently Khoina Village )

2- Mije Mina, settled at  down at RIFING ( presently Rafung village )

3- Jeri-Jeson settled down at BUT ( presently Jerigaon Village )

4- Thonson Bruson, the youngest settled down at KHOITAM ( presently  Salari Village )

During the early  period of their  settlement , the brothers faced a lot of problems, famines and epidemic. They sought the advice of their father , who advised them to worship  Almighty Omnipresent  TANG  to overcome theri problems and difficulties.

Heading thr advice of their father , they started praying the omnipresent TANG , who bestowed  upon them  Bounty-full harvest  and also protected  them from femines and disease .

In return the Sartags  made offering to TANG, to thank for the Harvest, Peace and Prosperity and also to  appease TANG  to keepaway the bad spirits, ward away the bad omens and to protect  them.

This harmonious  relationship between  TANG and the SARTANGs, the provider and the reciver , The protector and the protected have sicne  continued ans is practiced   till today.

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TANG Celebration

The TANG is celebrated  at every  major village of the Sartang area  with a lot of festivity  and fervour. This  being  the major and most  important ritual, a lot of consultation takes places anongst  the villagers.  The village head  and the head priest ( Bullu Chabji).  The TANG festival  is a most important festival of the Sartang community. Hence it is celebrated during the season of pre harvesting period.  Presviously , the system of celebration was not organised in systemic way . It was observe  on different dates in diferent villages of Sartang area with change in the outlook and perceptions of the common platform is to be made for centrally celebration of the festivals.

Accordingly the people  of the Satrang community decided that the 15th September of every year  would be sacred day  of TANG Festival.

Seven days before the commencement of actual puja the head man of he society along with the priest get together to select an expert and experience priest to be the interpreter  between the god and hunab beings.

Preparation of PHAK ( Maize bear ) , ARA ( filtered local Wine ) , Noho (  smoked fish )  etc are arranged for ritual  purpose  and also  for guests.

The TANG festival  started  with the prayer  of head priest  along with hoisting of white flag centrally  marking the logo of the society  with much spirit  and delight. During the perod of celebration of TANG festival  people come out in the morining  in the best of their traditional attires at saloum ( festival spot ) . The priest chabji and Romu performing puja to seek blessing from alimighty god.

In the last day of the festival the bull is free up for life time  with the prayers  by Bullu chabji after tie up a holy thread made up of sheep wool.

After the performance of ritual community fest is serve  to the guest and people present inthe festival. In the evening  various culture  items are held  and huge marry  making take place amongst the people  irrespective  of race.

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