Arunachal Pradesh, the ‘Land of Dawnlit Mountains,’ has its name in the prominent ancient scriptures of India, like the Kalika Purana and Mahabharata. Sage Vyas meditated in the region’s forests, and Lord Krishna married Rukmini here. Sage Parashurama washed his sins here and was known as the Prabhu Mountains.
There are 26 different tribes and various sub-tribes, and thus the culture of Arunachal Pradesh is very distinct. Each tribe has its tradition and costumes. There are three cultural groups in Arunachal Pradesh.
Mostly Arunachal has its own indigenous religion where nature is worshipped. Around 33% of the population follows Christianity. Some small communities are Hindu. Tibetan Buddhism is a dominant religion in the districts of West Kameng, Tawang, and areas near Tibet. Near the Burmese border, Theravada Buddhism is the main religion.
People here are highly skilled and have been in the same craft for generations. Local men are skilled at weaving, jewellery making, carpet making, bamboo work, wood carving, basketry, painting, pottery, etc.
Arunachal Pradesh is the furthermost state located in the North-Eastern border of the country. The state has thus adapted and adopted the food culture from the Himalayan civilizations and even from the neighbouring countries. Rice and meat are the local staple food here. Lettuce is very popular among the locals and is prepared with chillies, coriander and ginger. Boiled rice cakes, thupkas, and momos hail from here are now found in all parts of the country. Rice beers are prepared by local communities and the best beer is Apong which is prepared by fermenting rice and millets. Food here is diverse as each tribe has its own way of preparing but the common aspect is that the food is less spicy.
The people here celebrate several occasions on grounds of religion, society, or agriculture. The tribes here are simple and enjoy the small beauties of life. People here celebrate nature and agriculture is the main occupation and thus they pray to god for a good harvest. The popular celebrations here are Losar, Solung, Boori Boot, Mopin, Dree, Nyokum, Reh, Si-Donyi, and a few more.
The tribes here celebrate and express themselves through dance and music. They dance and sing during festivals and weddings. Various dance forms are there for different tribes. They have elaborate religious dance dramas of the Buddhists to the martial arts and colourful dance performances of the Noctes and Wanchos. There are four categories of dance form which are festive dances, ritual dance, recreational dance and dance dramas.
Arunachal Pradesh is the most linguistically diverse region in Asia. There are more than 50 dialects of Tibeto-Burman language which are spoken here. Nyishi, Apatani, Bokar, Galo, Tagin, Adi are the common ones that fall in the Tani dialect. Digaru, Idu, and Miju fll under the Mishmi dialect which are considered as the endangered ones.
Arunachal Pradesh is a tribal state and has unique wedding costumes. Several rituals are performed during the wedding which continue for 4 to 5 days. Both the families are involved and the rituals are celebrated to establish love and trust amongst the families.