Shillong Prepares To Kick-Off Cherry Blossom Festival 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival, held for three days, celebrates the fleeting bloom of Wild Himalayan Cherry flowers in November.
  • Features include food stalls, local wine, music concerts, and performances by local and international artists like Magic!, Papon, and Jonas Blue.
  • The festival aims to promote tourism, biodiversity preservation, and cultural awareness in Shillong, Meghalaya.

Meghalaya, India–Shillong, a city located in the East Khasi Hills, a part of the Eastern Himalayas, celebrates the annual Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival, organized by the Meghalaya Tourism Department between November 23 and 26. 

Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival: Celebrating Nature and Culture

The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival is held in November (usually for three days) during the short two weeks that the beautiful Wild Himalayan Cherry flowers bloom in a year and features food stalls, local wine, and music concerts.

The venues for the festival include the city’s Polo Ground, and Ward Lake, with smaller events spreading to other parts of the city.

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This year the festival will feature performances by local and international artists, including Magic!, Lou Majaw, Papon, Nikhil Chinappa, Hybrid Theory, Jonas Blue, and HRVY, among others.

The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival was first organized in 2016 by the Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (IBSD) and tourism authorities to promote tourism and spread awareness about the preservation of local biodiversity.

Festival Accolades and Offerings

Another report states that the festival organizers conducted a relatively small-scale event last year in light of the pandemic after taking a year’s break in 2020. 

Nevertheless, the 2021 version of the festival received three awards, including “Festival of the Year-Art/Culture/Lifestyle” – Gold, “Best Tourism Event” – Gold, “Concert of the year” – Silver at the Wow Awards Asia 2022 held on August 19 and 20 at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India.

Tickets can be purchased on the festival’s official website, which offers three tiers for one-day passes:

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General (or GA) Day PassFANPIT Day PassVIP Day Pass
Access to festival groundsAccess to Fanpit zone and festival groundsAccess to the elevated platform and dedicated food and beverage section
₹899 / $11n/a₹5,000 / $62

The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2022 also includes the Mega Music Contest (November 17 to 19) and the Shillong Literary Festival (November 21 to 23).

Cultural Enrichment and Natural Wonder

According to a report, the first cherry blossom seeds were brought to the region from Japan by the ex-Chief Secretary of Meghalaya, Nari K Rustomji, in the 1970s, who planted them at his home, ordered the then-District Forest Officer to propagate the saplings around the city.

The East Khasi Hills is also known for its infamous ‘living root bridges,’ a display of the local people’s relationship with the forest. There are more than a hundred bridges (some of which cross wide rivers) made entirely of a living tree’s root, trunk, or branches (Read more here).

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What We Think

The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival beautifully intertwines cultural celebration with environmental consciousness. Its recognition at the Wow Awards Asia 2022 underscores its impact on tourism and cultural appreciation.

The festival not only showcases artistry but also fosters environmental awareness, honoring Meghalaya’s biodiversity.

As a hub for diverse artistic expressions and natural wonders, this festival serves as an enriching experience that harmonizes tradition, art, and environmental conservation.

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Aqil K
Aqil K
Aqil writes about travel, tourism, and covers the many aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle.

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