8 Festivals of Nagaland that you must witness at least once

8 Festivals of Nagaland that you must witness at least once

Nagaland, a state in Northeast India, is renowned not only for its breathtaking natural scenery but also for its significant festivals. While the captivating Hornbill festival may be well-known, Nagaland has several other festivals that hold cultural and historical importance to the people. With sixteen to seventeen tribal groups, the state has a predominantly tribal population engaged in agriculture for their livelihood. Motorcycle enthusiasts would be thrilled to explore the state, which offers exceptional riding experiences beyond the popular cities of Kohima, Zunheboto, and Wokha. If planning a trip to Nagaland, it's advisable to coincide with some of its famous festivals. Here are the 8 festivals of Nagaland that you must witness atleast once. 

1. Hornbill Festival

The festival was started in the year 2000 to popularise Nagaland among tourists. It is great to have several rock concerts and dance performances as well during time at the festival. If you are feisty enough, you can take part in the chilli-eating competition that is quite famous among several tourists. Also, you will get to view a motor rally as well at the festival. Apart from all the festivities, the food provided at the festival is mind-blowing. You will get to taste dishes that are not only bizarre but delicious as well.

2. Sekrenyi Festival

Sekrenyi is a famous festival among the people belonging to the Angami tribe in Nagaland. Hunted animals are cooked for food and delicious dishes are served to the guests. The chickens are slaughtered and cooked in a special oven constructed for that purpose only. After the festival, destroy the stove. People in love also express their love for one another by various means. 

3. Tsukheneye

Tsukheneye is a renowned festival of the Chakhesang tribe in Nagaland, held primarily in the Phek district. Celebrated in March, it is intimately linked to the tribe's crop harvest, making it a significant occasion for them. The festival's highlight is the sacrificial offering of a rooster at dawn on the opening day, along with other captivating events. Lasting for four days, the festival culminates in a purifying river ritual, solely reserved for men, who believe in its impact on the forthcoming harvest. However, one of its peculiarities is the exclusion of women from participating in the festivities.

4. Aoleang

Aoleang is a significant harvest festival that the Konyak tribe celebrates in Nagaland. This festival takes place in April and lasts for about five days. Each day of the festival has different events and activities to offer. Aoleang marks the beginning of the spring and welcomes the new year for the tribal people of Nagaland. The festival is steeped in tradition and involves various customs and rituals that make it a unique and memorable experience. You will get to witness the colorful song and dance performances of the Nagaland tribal people during the festival days. Thanks to the government's efforts to promote the festival, it has gained popularity worldwide, and people from all over the world come to Nagaland to witness it firsthand.

5. Naknyulem

The Naknyulem festival is an enjoyable and lively celebration that highlights the Chang tribe's culture and tradition, as well as promotes friendship. It takes place in July and features dancing, singing, and various thrilling games, including tug-of-war, long jump, high jump, top-spinning, and even a game where participants grab cooked pork with their mouths. Additionally, there are some rather unusual games that are sure to pique your interest. During the festival, you'll have the opportunity to hear the enchanting sounds of the 'Kongkhim' - a Naga instrument exclusively played by women. In summary, the Naknyulem festival promises a joyous and unforgettable experience for all who participate.

6. Mimkut

The Mimkut festival is observed by the Kuki tribe in Nagaland during the second week of January, and it is considered a religious event aimed at pleasing the demon Thilha. The festival is marked by various unusual rituals, such as the sacrifice of a fowl to appease the deity. According to the Kuki people, January is known as Tolbol, and it is believed that Thilha visits the area during this month, thus prompting the festival's celebration.

7. Tokhu Emong

The Lotha tribe of Nagaland celebrates the Tokhu Emong festival during the initial week of November, signifying the end of the harvest season. Unlike other festivities in Nagaland, this celebration is relatively relaxed, and the Lotha people enjoy themselves by singing, dancing, drinking, and feasting on delicious food. The festival's significance lies in commemorating a "rest day" after completing the harvest and preparing for the winter.

8. Tuluni

The Sumi tribe in Nagaland celebrates the Tuluni festival for three days during the month of July. The purpose of this festival is to promote unity among the community and make young couples feel welcome. To start the celebration, locals exchange gifts, and families prepare and share delicious meals to strengthen their bonds.

The festival primarily commemorates the bountiful harvest of crops, which is a significant event for the Sumi tribe. Through their celebrations, they express gratitude for the abundant blessings of nature and create an atmosphere of joy and togetherness.

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