Shillong: The three-day Shillong Autumn Festival kicked off on Friday amid criticism from churches, NGOs and political parties for the festival ending on Sunday.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma inaugurated the festival which began with the glittering programme entitled, "Shillong Street Carnival".
Eight cultural troupes of North Eastern states decked up in their traditional clothes paraded through the streets of Shillong amid beatings of drums, blowing of bugles and playing wind-piped instruments.
Speaking after inaugurating the festival organised by state tourism department, Sangma said, "The festival would help project North East as a major tourist destination."
NGOs and churches opposed the closing ceremony on Sunday which is considered a holy day by the majority Christian population of the state.