North East Festival returns for its 11th edition

North East Festival returns for its 11th edition

As the festive spirit blankets the capital, the North East Festival gears up for its 11th edition, promising a vibrant showcase of the region’s rich culture, tantalising cuisine and artistic prowess. Scheduled from December 22 to December 24 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (gate no. 14), New Delhi, the festival is set to draw a diverse audience.

The inauguration ceremony is expected to be graced by Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs, in the presence of esteemed dignitaries such as G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER); Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports; Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ministry of ‘Ayush’ and Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, along with other high-level delegates.

This annual celebration, since its inception in 2013, has played a pivotal role in boosting tourism in the Northeastern states.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Shyamkanu Mahanta, Chief Organiser of the North East Festival, said, “Delhi holds a special place in our hearts and the city’s warmth has always been overwhelming. The North East Festival has evolved into a symbol of identity for the people of the North East. Our primary focus has been to forge marketing connections for products from the Northeastern states. With the backing of the Ministry of Tourism, we will host a tourism B2B meet and supported by the MSME Ministry, a B2B meet for the textile and food processing sectors. These meetings will facilitate meaningful interactions with buyers. We’ve extended invitations to well-known North East entrepreneurs from various sectors to showcase their products. Additionally, cultural performances, games, the display of our authentic food and more will enhance the festive atmosphere. With this edition, we anticipate an even greater footfall, marking another milestone in our journey.”

This year’s edition promises an exciting array of events that celebrate the beauty, diversity and integrity of North East India. Among these is a lively Christmas special bazaar showcasing Northeastern crafts and stalls from Delhi’s bakeries. The festival’s culinary delights are poised to attract a massive crowd, offering authentic Northeastern cuisine.

Besides, with a dynamic lineup featuring 300 folk artists, a Meitei martial arts showcase, a doodle art masterclass by the globally known artist Santanu Hazarika and a North East Rock Battle, the festival is set to be a cultural extravaganza. The musical spectacle will showcase a diverse lineup of artists spanning various genres, ranging from folk to rock and pop to jazz. Notable performers include the well-known Indian Nepali rock band from Sikkim, Girish and ‘The Chronicles’, Assam’s heartthrob Zubeen Garg, Bollywood playback singer and composer Papon and Bollywood actor-singer Shruti Haasan and her alternative rock band.

The evenings will be further electrified by the stellar performances of renowned DJs from the region. A poignant moment during the festival will be a tribute music performance dedicated to the late playback singer KK. Widely adored, KK’s untimely demise resonated deeply within the industry and among his fans. His band, accompanied by a selection of popular singers, will pay homage by performing some of his timeless songs.

Fashion enthusiasts can look forward to designers showcasing local fabrics and designs, emphasising the rich textile heritage of the region. The exhibition arena will host over 100 MSME entrepreneurs presenting ‘Made in North East’ products, creating a marketplace for visitors to explore and purchase authentic items. With 150 stalls, the exhibition aims to promote agri-horti products, handlooms, handicrafts and processed food. Tourism stalls will highlight popular and off-beat destinations, encouraging visitors to explore the diverse landscapes of the Northeast.

The North East Festival goes beyond being a mere celebration. It strives to nurture cross-cultural awareness, encourage economic prosperity and promote unity.

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