(Last Updated on : 27/08/2019)
With a rich and vibrant cultural heritage, the festivals
of Nagaland are celebrated with much enthusiasm among the inhabitants of this north eastern state
. In Nagaland
, there are about 16 tribes
including the Kukis
, Changs, Konyaks, Aos
, Kacharis, Sumis, Chakhesangs, Lothas, Pochurys and others. Each of these tribes has their own unique indigenous culture
, tradition and festivals. The purpose of the festivals of Nagaland is to promote inter- tribe interaction.
is one of the main aspects of the states economy
, many of the festivals of Nagaland revolve around agriculture. The predominant theme of all the festivals of Nagaland remains to be the offering of prayers to a Supreme Being having different names in different Naga dialects. The chief man of the village
propitiates the spirit of the Gods with sacrifices for a bountiful yield of crops
. Discussed elaborately below are some of the popular festivals of Nagaland:
Hosted between 1st to 10th December at the Naga Heritage Village of Kisama near Kohima
in Nagaland, the Hornbill Festival
is one of the most largest and important festivals of north east India. The festival is organised by the State Tourism along with the Art and Culture Departments and showcases diversity in their numerous cultural displays.
The festival is named after the hornbil
l bird since the bird
is symbolic in the native folklore and culture of the tribal communities. The Hornbill Festival was started in the year 2000 as a main event to promote tourism in Nagaland
and also to unite all the tribes together to share a single platform under one roof.
The week long festivities provide an incredible opportunity for the tourists to experience a variety of local traditions, handicrafts, folk songs, dances, traditional Naga Morungs
Exhibition and other customs of Nagaland. Other than these, one of the major highlights of this festival is the Hornbill International Rock Festival, which is held at the Indira Gandhi
Stadium, where there is an equal representation of performances from both local and international rock bands.
Celebrated annually during the first week of May by the Ao tribe, the Moatsu Festival
is a binding festival celebrated after the sowing season is over. Observed only for a brief period of 3 days, the Moatsu Festival is marked by singing and dancing. The main aim of the festival is to seek the blessings of the Supreme Being after a new harvest, or marriage, or cleaning building construction repair or other activities of the type. To celebrate this holy occasion, rice
beer is made and feasts are cooked by slaughtering the pigs and cows.
Celebrated by the Angami tribe, the Sekreyni Festival is a 10 days long occasion and is one of the popular festivals of Nagaland. Locally known as Phousanyi by the tribe people, the Sekreyni Festival is basically a purification festival to wash off past sins. The objective of the festival is to renew by cleansing the metaphorical body and the soul of the village as a whole, and to bring forth unity among all communities of Nagaland. The festival also marks initiation of the young people to adulthood, which is considered to be an identity marker of the Angami.
Bamboo Day Festival:
Another of the popular festivals of Nagaland, the Bamboo Day Festival
has international significance since it is also celebrated globally. Nagaland is the home of about 5 percent of India's growing stock of bamboo
. With about 46 species of wonder grass have been identified, the bamboo and cane crafts
of Nagaland have excelled in the present epoch as they are affluent in the tradition of this craft. The main purpose of the Bamboo Day Festival is to increase the awareness of bamboo usage in ones daily lives and in art. Stalls are set up during the festival to display bamboo art and other products associated to it.
The Amongmong Festival
is a pre harvest festival celebrated among the Sangtam tribe. Another of the popular festivals of Nagaland, the Amongmong Festival is celebrated for a period of 6 days. The word Amongmong means unity or togetherness and like the other festivals of Nagaland, the Amongmong Festival also promotes a spirit of brotherhood in community. During this festival, the tribe worship their local deities and they place three cooking stones near the fireplace in order to achieve good harvest, prosperity and health of the tribe.
Tokhu Emong Festival
: Celebrated by the Lotha nagas, who are known to be one of the major tribes of the state, the Tokhu Emong is a post harvest festival celebrated in the month of November for a period of almost 9 days. The festival celebrates and encourages unity not only among the Lothas but everyone to promote inter tribal harmony and collaboration. The festival is marked with feasting, merry making, drinking, playing games, singing folk songs and dancing.
The Yemshe Festival is also a pre harvest celebration that is also a major festival of the Pochury tribe. Celebrated in October, this festival is celebrated in 2 phases, namely the Big Yemshe and the Small Yemshe. The Big Yemshe is the time for preparations all around as the village youth cleanses the whole village. The purification of the house and a ritual feast characterizes the Small Yemshe.
Other than these, some of the other festivals of Nagaland include Tuluni, Metemneo, Monyu, Miu, Bushu and Nazu, etc. All of these festivals are celebrated with much enthusiasm and fervour.