PASIGHAT ( By- Maksam Tayeng| ) – The Unying Araan festival of Adis which is celebrated in the month of March beginning from 7th day of the month every year was celebrated with great pomp and gaiety across the villages and towns of Adi inhabited districts today.
The Araan festival also marks the beginning of New Year and the arrival of spring season, the season of joyousness and youthfulness where male elders performs ‘Bari’ songs and ‘Yakjong’ dance in villages by boys and girls through which stories of origin of the festival are narrated, besides praying for wellbeing of people both materially and spiritually.
In this festival, it is customary for all male members of a family to go on a hunting spree (open season) and stay in the jungles for one week. When they return home they come back with various kills such as deers, birds, squirrels, fish etc.
The children perform “Yakjong” (house to house) wearing colorful traditional attire and bless the house where they perform. The hunted birds, rodents, squirrels are prepared as gift “Aaman” for children and they carry and plays with it during the day. The festivity brings brotherhood among the villagers as hunted meats and rice beer ‘Aapong’ are shared among each other, especially ‘Aapongs’ are gifted to uncles (maternal) and in return uncles gifts back hunted meat items like rodent, birds and other meats to children of sisters and relatives during the festival.
Another interesting part of the festivity is that, men folk’ returning from hunting spree inquires each other about who and which groups hunted the maximum number of animals and later they invites each other in their houses to offer feast which is one of the most credible part of Adis due to which Adis have been said of having communal harmony from time immemorial.
Remarkably, every Adis living across Adi inhabited districts of Arunachal Pradesh including those staying far away in the towns and cities celebrates Unying Araan festival with traditional ‘Bari’ songs sung by male elders and ‘Yakjong’ dance performed by youths (boys and girls) in the villages. This festival last for around 10 days and through these traditional performances, the Adis narrate stories of the origin of the festival. Villagers also pray for the well-being of the tribesmen.