Although fairytales may be fiction, you can still teleport yourself to one. How? Well, consider us your fairy godmother because we’re about to tell you exactly how.
Shillong in November blooms with a thousand cherry blossom trees. Each of them is adorned with pink petals softly swaying under the blue sky. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? It’s really not. You can experience the magic yourself at the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2023! And it’s not just nature; a whole lot of fun awaits you here!
Being one of the rare places in all of India to have cherry blossoms, Shillong decided to make the best of it. Who wouldn’t? On 14 November 2016, the first-ever Cherry Blossom Festival was hosted at Polo Ground in Shillong, with Mukul Sangma, the former chief minister of Meghalaya, launching the event.
Since then, the city has gone all out during that time of the year. How so? With concerts featuring artists from around the world, Miss and Mr Cherry Blossom pageants, and kiosks laden with local food and drink – all in all, a complete treat to all your senses!
Also Read: Shillong Travel Guide
Looking pretty is not the only thing the cherry blossoms are restricted to. The Hindus of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand regard them as sacred too. The people of Meghalaya make wreaths out of these flowers during Maha Shivratri. They’re even considered a sign of good luck (if you’re in need of some, now you know what to do).
Spiritually, the cherry blossoms stand for the delicate essence of being. These flowers bloom for only a week or two before they detach from the branches and fall on the ground. This action shows that as delightful as life may be, it’s still fleeting every second from us. That got very philosophical, didn’t it? Alright, let’s return back to the more fun part.
Now that you’ve gotten a gist of what the festival involves, let’s talk about the present. Because there’s no time like the present. Don’t hold your horses to book your tickets to Shillong because the dates are out! In 2023, the Cherry Blossom Festival is happening from November 17th to November 19th at RBDSA Sports Complex.
They even have the Grammy winner Ne-Yo performing! Along with him, Ronan Keating, Jonas Blue, Sanam, and a whole list of artists are going to be rocking the stage.
Whatever may go down at the festival, we assure you that your spirits will definitely be going nowhere but up!
If you like to move it move it, The Cherry Blossom Festival has the best artists giving their all on stage. Several bands and performers are featured on the artist lineup.
This year, Ne-Yo, a Grammy-winning artist is going to set the stage on fire. Along with him, EDM maestro Kenny Musik is also performing. The list doesn’t end there! For all the K-Pop enthusiasts, Surl – Korea’s Indie Band Rock Band is arriving too! Nu-metal fans won’t be disappointed too, as Hybrid Theory, the biggest Linkin Park tribute band will also be playing all your favorites at the festival.
Apart from concerts, the festival also has dance performances from Northeast India, bicycle rallies, storytelling sessions, and choir performances.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Similarly, when in Shillong, eat as the Shillongese eat. Among the 250+ stalls that will crop up at the venue, indulge in a lot of games and flea markets.
But what’s the best way to get acquainted with a region’s culture? The food, of course! This year, the Cherry Blossom Festival will feature cuisines from the Khasi and Jaintia and Garo Hills. Just one word to sum it all up: Yum!
Shillong is called the Scotland of the East, and rightfully so. The serene landscapes will make for the perfect detox for the mind if you’re in search of one. Especially in November, Shillong looks like a fantasy land with vibrant shades of purple and pink from the trees. Something in the air will fix your soul (temporarily, of course).
Also Read: Homestays In Shillong
If you intend to attend the festival all three days, you can either get the normal season pass or book a VIP season pass. The normal GA Season Pass is for INR 3,600. On the other hand, the VIP GA Season Pass is for INR 14,000.
There's no compulsion to visit the festival all three days, though. In case you want to give this only one day and then admire other beauties of Shillong, you can book a single day’s pass as well. GA Day 1 Pass is for INR 1,200, GA Day 2 Pass is for INR 1,400, and GA Day 3 Pass is for INR 1,600. The normal pass will let you in the grounds and to all the spots except for the VIP areas and the Fanpit.
VIP Passes per day all cost INR 5,000. These passes will give you an elevated and better view of the main stage. You’ll even get to park inside the grounds with a VIP Pass. A truly special treatment, no doubt.
For the Fanpit Passes, the per day cost is INR 4,000. Having this will allow you to stand up close to the main stage and you’ll be in close proximity with whoever is performing.
Let’s see all of the options you have to get to the festival, shall we?
Even before the cherry blossoms have started to bloom, the luck is already in your favor! This year’s venue for the festival - the RBDSA Sports Complex - is only 8 km away from the Umroi Airport in Shillong! There are regular flights from major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata that you can take. If trains are your choice of transportation, you can get down at Guwahati Railway Station. From there, Shillong is just under 100 km, and you can travel by road by booking a car.
Also Read: The Ultimate Itinerary: 48 Hours In Shillong
Japan is what usually comes to mind when you’re thinking about Cherry Blossoms. But do you have to travel all the way over there to cherish them? Absolutely not. Shillong’s Cherry Blossom Festival will give you a very similar experience and also save you a ton of money!
The festival is not limited to only appreciating the bright pink petals while you take a stroll on cobblestones. It’s a proper fun fiesta brimming with their culture and contests to keep you engaged and entertained.
When Can I See The Cherry Blossom Festival?
The Cherry Blossom Festival happens every year in November, so that is the month you want to visit Shillong to experience it.
Where Is The Exact Location Of The Cherry Blossom Festival In Shillong?
In 2023, the festival will take place at the RBDSA Sports Complex in Shillong, Meghalaya. Nonetheless, a lot of the city's streets and roadways have cherry blossom trees. So, a visit here is warranted!
Which Is The Best Month To Visit Shillong?
September through May are the ideal months to visit Shillong because of the excellent weather throughout this time. While it does rain on occasion, it does not happen as frequently. Heavy rainfall is between the months of June and August.
How Many Days Does The Cherry Blossom Last?
The peak cherry blossom season begins mid-November and the flowers may bloom several days prior to the predicted date and lasts up to 14 days; however, frost or extremely high temperatures accompanied by wind, rain, or other weather conditions might limit this time.
What Happens In The Cherry Blossom Festival In Shillong?
Shillong's Cherry Blossom Season is a wonderful sight to behold. The city transforms into an amazing shade of pink. The event features a variety of competitions, dancing shows, musical acts, and pageants.
Why Is Cherry Blossom Celebrated In Shillong?
The purpose of the Cherry Blossom Festival is to appreciate the abundant bloom of the native cherry blossom trees in Shillong and the surrounding areas. Shillong is a hill station that draws tourists because of its picturesque surroundings and refreshing atmosphere.
What Is Meghalaya Shillong Famous For?
Among the must-see sights of Shillong are the Police Bazaar, Sweet Falls, Elephant Falls, Ward's Lake, Lady Hydari Park, and Shillong Peak.
Does Shillong Have A Nightlife?
Shillong offers a refreshing and diverse nightlife, whether you want to spend the entire evening dancing with your friends or just relaxing with a few drinks. Both residents and visitors find it to be quite inviting.