Anthuriums are herbaceous epiphytes native to tropical America. They are commercially grown throughout the world with the heaviest concentrations in the United States (Florida) and The Netherlands. Anthuriums are one of the most popular tropical flowers with a long vase life of about six weeks and even more depending on the variety and season.
The climate of Mizoram being ideal for the cultivation of almost all types of flowers, the success of Anthurium production in Mizoram is known countrywide due to its large exports. With an aim to promote tourism and encourage Anthurium cultivation for export, the Government of Mizoram annually organizes a three day Anthurium Festival in the state and the village of Reiek has become synonymous with the festival. It is a very popular festival and has slowly become one of the most prominent tourism festivals of the Northeastern region.
About 30 kilometers to the West in the Mamit District, about an hour and twenty minutes drive from the city of Aizawl and overlooking it sprawls Reiek, a prominent mountain at an elevation of 1548 metres offering a dramatic view of the surrounding valleys and hills. On a clear day the plains of Bangladesh can be seen from the top of the hill. Reiek Hill is surrounded by thick lush green temperate trees and bushes. This is one destination that should be on everyone’s travel itinerary. The mountain itself, though appearing to be of gentle slopes on its eastern side, has spectacular rocky cliffs notched with caves and caverns in an environment of luxuriant natural forest preserved since the days of the Mizo Chiefs.
The festival is celebrated every year at the tourist resort run by the government in the village of Reiek at the foothills of the mystic Reiek Mountain in September amidst nature during the peak season of the beautiful and exotic Anthurium blossom. The showy Anthuriums are borne in a long-stalked spikes surrounded by a flaring heart-shaped white or red bract. The Department of Tourism operates a cafeteria and a resort providing decent food and accommodation at Reiek. The forests of Reiek hills are home to a fascinating variety of hill birds, including the rare Peregrine falcon which one might see perched on a lofty ledge or swooping on cliff swallows.
The festival showcases a variety of cultural and traditional fares like music, dance, games, sports, handloom, handicrafts and a non-residential, re-invention of a typical Mizo (heritage) village as a peek into the glorious past of the valiant highlanders. The festival also includes archery, rifle shooting, angling competitions and a fashion show. Cultural displays of traditional attires of different tribes are also a regular feature of the festival.
The enchanting and mystic Reiek Mountain is surrounded by thick lush green temperate trees and bushes that echo with legends, folk lores and feats won by a Mizo Chief, for whom Reiek Mountain was a hunting preserve. Against the backdrop of this picture perfect isle of nature is the Anthurium Festival of Mizoram. The spontaneity and spirit of celebration that the festival evokes and rejuvenates not only the mind but also the body and offer an opportunity as a get away from the stress and monotony of the daily chores.