The capital city of Itanagar was drenched in the hues of tradition and celebration as the Nocte tribe joyously observed the Chalo Loku festival. This unique agricultural celebration, rooted in the cultural fabric of the Nocte community of Tirap district, brought together communities on November 25 at the TCL festival ground in Itanagar.
Tamme Phassang, the Mayor of Itanagar Municipal Corporation, graced the festival, emphasizing the significance of preserving cultural heritage and fostering unity among communities. The Chalo Loku festival, celebrated annually in Khonsa, Deomali, Itanagar, and other Nocte-populated areas, marks the harvest of paddy and the transition from the old season to the new one.
Originating in 1968 in Khonsa, the word "Chalo Loku" itself is a poetic fusion of "Chha" or "Chhalo" (paddy) and "Loku," derived from "Lofe" (to drive out) and "Kuh" (season). The festival holds historical importance, with the construction of the first Rangsom Hum (prayer house) during the inaugural Chalo Loku.
The festival, spanning three days, encompasses Phamlamja, Chamkatja, and Thanlangja. The second day, Chamkatja, is the pinnacle of the celebration, featuring the Chamkat ceremony. Buffaloes and pigs are sacrificed on Phamlamja, while Thanlangja witnesses a vibrant dance festival at the Chief’s house and Paang premises, promoting community bonding.
Mayor Tamme Phassang expressed his heartfelt wishes on the occasion, stating, "Chalo Loku serves as a platform to strengthen the bonds among community members and promote understanding and goodwill among the people of the state." He urged the youth to safeguard their cultural heritage, calling it the "most important jewel" of Arunachal Pradesh.
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