(Last Updated on : 25/01/2011)
Ngada is the symbol of the end of the agriculture year. Ngada festival of Rengma tribes
is actually a "Thanks giving" festival. It is celebrated with pageantry of colour and music for eight days, each day has its own significance of importance. The village priest notifies the commencement of this festival. He proclaims the auspicious day after estimate the month by the movement of moon. While proclaiming the day he takes into consideration of the fact that every householder must be in a position to bring crop in their house and stock in their proper granaries by ritual law. It is a taboo to bring home any grain after celebration of this festival. Ample rice beer and flesh of animals are consumed on this occasion.
The festival starts with the preparation of all kinds of beer and ends on the seventh day with high hopes and great expectations that tomorrow will usher in a fruitful and prosperous agricultural new year and augur healthy climates and happiness to the villagers. The second day is meant for cleaning houses and compounds. Grave yards and jungle are cleaned by the male. Third day is the actual day of starting the Ngada celebration. All the house-wives go to the grave in the morning. It is believed that the souls of the dead wait eagerly for this day every year. This day is called zu kephe dzon, which means opening day of the beer containers. Each member visits his friends or neighbours house to enjoy the festival by sharing the food and drink.
Fourth day is known as Kenyhun Dzon. Kenyhun means movements and actions. It is the day of cultural activities. Male folks dress up in traditional battle costumes and go round the village in procession. They visit each Morung. During the procession there should be a unanimous loud chanting. The women folks offer them with stronger rice beer, rice and meat. Each and every individual has to taste or sip the items if and when offered. Finally, they gather at Morung and narrate how one had encountered his enemy or foe and how he struggled and won his trophy.
Fifth day is devoted to cultural activities like dancing, traditional games and sports. Kicking of the object, high jump and long jump are some of the popular games that are played on this day. The players are awarded as per their ranks. The awarded players arrange a community feast at Morung by building big camp-fires on the last day of the festival.
Rungsu Dzon is celebrated on the sixth day where people visit one another's home. Nga Nyiikhin Dzon is the symbol of the end of Ngada festival. The spirits of the dead depart from the graveyard. The guests are not allowed to leave the village. A community feast is arranged separately by barring women and men folks at their respective Morung. A special beer known as Nyezeng beer is served to all members of the community. It is taboo for the women to taste it. Seventh day is marked by the preparations for the grand feast and collection of firewood, banana leaves and vegetables from the forest. On the eighth day there is a grand feast and few rituals are performed for better future. The whole village feast on the food collected during the fifth day procession.