Nagaland General Information

Jeep Tour to Nagaland

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Tribal Festivals of Nagaland

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Tribal Festivals

Nagaland khaimngan Dance at Hornbill FestivalNagaland is the land of festivals. All the tribes, love to celebrate and enjoy themselves. The main tribal festivals have been listed in the table below. All these festivals revolve around the agricultural cycle - sowing, Spring, first crop from the fields, harvest, end of the year, and so on.

The government and the people of Nagaland, have identified four festivals for development as tourist festivals. These are shown in blue text, Click on the names of the festivals for more information.

for information about other festivals and for tailor-made festival tours.

 

Calendar of Festivals
 

Date

Tribe

Festival

Location ( District)

Jan 3rd week

Kuki

Mimkut

Kohima

Feb: 25-27

Angami

Sekrenyi *

Kohima

Mar / Apr

Chakasang

Tsukhenyi

Phek

Apr 1st week

Konayak

Aoling

Mon

Apr 1-6

Phom

Monyu *

Tuensang

May 1- 3

Ao

Moatsu *

Mokukchung

May 2nd week

Khaimggan

Miu

Tuensang

July

Sema

Tulini

Zonheboto

July 2nd week

Chang

Nyanyulum

Tuensang

July / Aug

Pochury

Nazu

Phek

Aug 2nd week

Yimchunger

Metemneo

Tuensang

Sept 1st week

Sangtam

Amongmong

Tuensang

Nov 1st week

Lotha

Tokhuemong

Wokha

Nov last week

Rengma

Ngada

Kohima

Dec 1-5

All Naga tribes

Hornbill *

Kohima

Dec last week

Zeliang

Nga-Ngai

Kohima

 

The Hornbill Festival

Nagaland tribal dance at hornbill festrivalThough not a traditional Naga festival, this interesting tourist festival is put together by all the tribes to show- case Naga culture, handicrafts, and cuisine. All the tribes perform a variety of cultural items. See tribal dances and songs, and marvel at the colorful traditional dresses, the array of local musical instruments, and traditional games. In the evenings, musical concerts and other entertainment programs keep the people in a festive mood. These concerts cater to the needs of all music lovers as it includes gospel, rock, metal, country, pop, western and what have you.

 

Tribal architectural styles and house patterns of different Naga tribes are on show. The Apex body of each tribe called the Tribal Hoho, take pride in constructing their Morung-the Boys Dormitory where the values of life are imparted. In these dormitories, each tribe attempts to depict their original lifestyles

 

You can see and buy, all the handloom and handicraft items such as, bamboo baskets, wooden plates, wooden spoons, bamboo mugs, cane and bamboo caps, bamboo and wooden carving of human and animal figures, bamboo and wooden smoking pipes, walking sticks and more.
 

If you are a gourmet and like to sample ethnic food, you can have a good fill, as there are many stalls where Naga cuisine is served.

 

Sekrenyi - Angami

The festival follows a circle of ritual and ceremony, the first being "KIZIE". A few drops of rice water taken from the top of the jug, called "ZUMHO" are sprinkled on some leaves and placed at the three main posts of the house by the lady of the household. The first day begins with all the young and old going to the village well to bathe. At night, two young men go to the well to clean it. Some of the village youth guard the well at night as no one is allowed to fetch water after cleaning the well. The womenfolk, especially, are not allowed to touch the well water. Hence they have to see that the water for the household is fetched before the well cleaning is done.

Early the next morning, all the young men of the village rise to wash themselves at the well. The whole process is carried out in a ritualistic manner. The young men don two new shawls (the white MhoushÜ and the black lohe) and sprinkle water on their chest, knees and on their right arm.This ceremony is called "DZÜSEVA" (touching the sleeping water) and it assures them that all their ills and misfortunes have been washed away by the purified well-water. On their return from the well, a cock is sacrificed by throttling it with bare hands. It is taken as a good omen when the right leg falls over the left leg as the cock falls The innards of the fowl are taken out and hung outside the house for the village elders to come and inspect it.
 

Starting from the fourth day of the festival, a three day session of singing and feasting starts. This is called The THEKRA HIE. This is the most enjoyable part of the festival as all the young people of the village sit together and sing traditional songs throughout the day, as they feast on rice-beer and meat. The young unmarried girls with closely shaven heads sit down with the bronzed youths and sing tunes of bygone ages, recreating a past where no care touched the human soul. Nagaland Semas at Hornbill Festival

On the seventh day the young men go for hunting. The most important ceremony falls on the eighth day when the bridge-pulling or gate-pulling is performed or inter village visits are exchanged. Until the close of the festival no one goes to the fields and all work ceases during this season of feasting and singing.

This festival is being celebrated annually at Touphema Village, from 25th-27th February, and has been identified by the Govt. as a festival destination.


Monyu - Phom
Monyu, the most popular and biggest festival of the Phom tribe is celebrated soon after the sowing season to herald the New Year. The festival is celebrated for six days beginning from 1st to 6th April every Nagaland Phom Girls at Monyu Festivalyear. It also marks the end of winter and the beginning of summer and monsoon.
 

The festival is started officially by beating log drums with a distinct tune. This is called "LAN NYANGSHEM".

 

The Priests or the village elders perform a ritual and predict whether the festival will be a blessing or a curse. In case the prediction is negative, the folks are warned to be careful during the festivity. Prayers are held f to bless the crops that have been sowed. One of the features of Monyu is for the male members of the family to show love and affectionate feelings towards their married daughters or sisters by presenting them the purest of the rice beer and specially prepared food. The idea is to renew the status of Phom women as “respected and honored".  It is also the occasion for the community to decide upon welfare activities for the common good - to be implemented throughout The first day is the day for over all preparation. Besides preparing of domestic chores, the year. every household collects wrapping leaves and bamboo, which is called "SHONGTEN-LAIPHEN’.

Nagaland Chakesangs at hornbill festivalThe second day is for compulsory brewing of all kinds of rice beer.

The third day is meant for the community to get together for feasting, dancing, and merry making. This day is called "Aiha Okshok".

The fourth day is called "Chingi Okshok" . This day guests arrive from from neighboring villages.

On the fifth day wearing their respective colorful costumes, every one engages in feasting, drinking, dancing, inviting friends, kith and kin and generally making each moment of the day memorable and joyous. This is called "paangmohah".

On the sixth day, whilst the elderly people feast by exchanging a jug of purest rice beer and meat, the younger ones - both boys and girls go outside the village to feast, sing and dance. They make swings out of ropes made from wild plants called "SHAKOK VU - to swing together as a ritual.

Moatsu Mong - Ao

The Ao Tribe invoke the Almighty God's blessings after finishing their diverse village activities such as construction and repair of houses, roads, marriage, sowing of seeds in the fields and cleaning of the village water ponds. Only after completion of all these manifold activities the celebration of Moatsu Mong takes place. It provides the people a period of recreation after the strenuous jobs have been completed. The festivities are marked by vigorous songs, dances, and merrymaking.
 

It is the customary practice to compete with each other in producing the best rice beer, and rearing the healthiest pigs and cows to be slaughtered during the festival.
 

The womenfolk make the best dresses for themselves and join the men folk in dancing, eating and drinking wine. Songs are sung in praise of warriors, their lovers and the village as a whole. The theme is to encourage the young warrior to be bold and heroic and to bless them to keep them safe against their enemies – a tradition handed down from the headhunting days.
 

One of the symbolic celebrations is SANGPANGTU where a big fire is lit and women and men sit around it feasting and drinking. During this period, the “wise and righteous men who live by the guidance of the Almighty” look for omens and predict whether the coming year will bring good or evil days for the people. 


The people go out for renewing old friendships and making new ones. The Aos invite delegates from the neighboring villages and exchange gifts to renew traditional friendship. This helps in the strengthening of traditional bonds and result in peace and harmony.

The Nagaland Government has identified Chuchuyimlang village as the Moatsu Mong festival destination.

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