BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 23 NOVEMBER 2022
The Chief Minister of Meghayala has announced that in respect to those people who have been killed at the state border, all official festivals including the famous Cherry Blossom Festival at Shillong has been cancelled.
Yesterday six people were killed in firing at Mukhrow village in Assam – Meghalaya border. Out of the six killed, five are residents of Meghalaya and one from Assam.
The home minister, LakhmenR has visited the spot with high officials to assess the situation. The Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma has also talked with Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sharma over phone about the incident and urged the people to restore peace.
“As a mark of respect & mourning for the deceased, the State Govt has decided to cancel all official festivals including the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival Hon’ble Home Minister,
has reached the spot of the incident & FIR has been registered by the
@MeghalayaPolice,”the CM tweeted.
Only two days before the incident the CM tweeted along with his photograph, “ Cherry Blossoms in full bloom this year, just in time for the #ShillongCherryBlossomFestival
The three day annual Cherry Blossom Festival 2022 was going to be held from 24 to 26 November at Shillong. In 2020 the festival was cancelled and in 2021 the event was organised but was small.
The 2022 Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival was going to be a mega event post pandemic and all the hotels and resorts have been booked and the cancellations at the last moment is a huge blow to the tourism sector of Meghalaya and the hotels and travel agents.
The picturesque hill town of Shillong is draped in pink and white coloured petals, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in November along the roadsides and the famous Ward’s Lake.
About one lakh people are expected to visit Shillong during the 5th edition of the India International Cherry Blossom Festival from 24 to 26 November 2022, which is scheduled to be hosted in this capital city in November this year. It is held at various venues, namely Polo 5th Ground, State Convention Center, Golf Course, JN Stadium, and Indoor Stadium Polo stadium etc .
The World’s most famous Cherry Blossom Festival is organised in Japan. In many other countries also like New Zealand, South Korea etc cherry blossom festivals are held. But the uniqueness of Shillong’s Himalayan Cherry Blossom Festival is the only Cherry Blossom festival in the world which is celebrated in autumn.
The festival is held at the Polo Grounds and Ward’s Lake in Shillong during the month of November every year. The Chief minister of Meghalaya inaugurates the Cherry Blossom Festival every year .
Besides cultural events, literature festivals, sports, fair, food festivals, fashion, rock shows, automobile shows, golf tournaments etc also take place during the Cherry Blossom Festival.
The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival started in 2016. It is organized annually by the Government of Meghalaya and has a wealth of live music and events, such as dance competitions, pageants, and various kiosks dedicated to representing their area through cuisine, wine, arts, and crafts. One can also watch musical performances, bicycle rallies, and storytelling sessions at the event. To enjoy seasonal flowering and leisure, Shillong has been organizing this festival with full gusto and enthusiasm, attracting many tourists to see this visual extravaganza.