(Last Updated on : 21-12-2019)
Tokhu Emong is a famous harvest festival of Nagaland
celebrated by the Lotha tribe. It is celebrated in the first week of November every year and it lasts for about nine days. This festival
is associated with the harvesting of crops
. It is also accompanied by folk dances
and singing of old folk songs. It is a festival enjoyed by both the young and the old, praising the Gods
for their abundant blessings. Tokhu Emong is also a celebration about brotherhood, forgiveness and oneness. It is celebrated through sharing of food
, gifts, folklore
narration and a sumptuous community
Etymology of Tokhu Emong
The word Tokhu means going out in groups from house to house, taking food and drinks. Emong means the halt on the appointed time. Thus, people rejuvenate themselves after a tremendous hard work on the fields and celebrate this post harvesting festival by making merry and rejoicing.
Custom and Rituals of Tokhu Emong
A proclamation of the starting of the festival to the villagers is done by the village priest
. He goes from door-to door of the village
with a basket for the collection of edibles that consist of rice
. For this purpose Yinga or supporters accompany him. This collection is done prior to the festival as an offering to the “Limha Potsow Ha Oyak Potsow” (Earth-God and Sky-God). People make generous contributions to ensure a sufficient harvest. Any person who fails to contribute is further deemed a beggar. Prayers are also offered to the spirits of the people who had died in the respective year.
Celebration of Tokhu Emong
Tokhu Emong is also a festival of gratitude. It was celebrated from the first of November till the 9th day. The wells of the villages are cleaned and the houses are repaired as well. After the festival, marriages
are arranged for the young couples, who were engaged during the year. Preparation of a scrumptious meal
is done and shared by the people followed by folk dance and folk songs. Exchange of gifts was also done. The entire village comes together in their best traditional attire
and exhibit their talent. There are many competitions including indigenous games
, rock concerts, food stalls and many more.