In the northeastern part of India dwells people of diverse ethnic groups are bound by a culture that finds expression in various forms of creativity and a year-long docket of festivity.
The people of Nagaland are known for the traditional art of weaving, wood carving, pottery, metalwork, jewelry, and beadwork, complemented by a culture of dance and music that transcends several generations.
Recognized as one of the smallest states in India, and having no less than 17 ethnic groups, Nagaland remains “The Land of Festivals” in India. Every festival in Nagaland is celebrated on a high note, regardless of the ethnic group.
The most popular among all the festivals is the ‘Hornbill Festival,’ also known as the Festival of Festivals, and notable for bringing home the memorial songs of the ancient Nagas. Below are a few exciting festivals in Nagaland.
Related media: Igniting Cultural Traditions: ‘Tribal Festival’ In Nagaland
#1. The Hornbill Festival
Hornbill is celebrated by all ethnic groups in Nagaland, meaning that it brings all the diverse ethnic groups together and draws the attention of visitors from outside India.
During the occasion, tribal delicacies are served and cultural dancers make breathtaking performances. Another side attraction at Hornbill is the exhibition of cultural paintings, sculptures, and fascinating woodwork.
#2. The Aoleng Festival
The Aoleng Festival comes up on the first week of April annually and is celebrated with sacrifices and religious rites, feasts, dances, and music.
The first three days are for the preparation of food, beer, and clothing for the sacrifice. The fourth day is graced with folk dances performed by dancers well-dressed in new clothes and jewelry. Finally, the last two days are spent cleaning the houses and the village square.
#3. Sekrenyi Festival
Sekrenyi or Phounsanyi is a “sanctification festival” usually celebrated by the Angami Nagas for a period of ten days. The festival which comes up in February is done to purify the soul and the body from sins.
Highlights from this festival include sprinkling sacred water on the body, sacrificing a cock, hunting, the men shaving their heads, music, men dancing with swords, and women dancing with baskets.
The list of Nagaland festivals and their symbolic nature cannot be exhausted. Like the Moatsii Mong Festival, the Mim Kut Festival, the Bushu Dima Festival, and many more, Nagaland festivals help reflect the cultural life with simplicity and truth.
What’s More With The Nagaland People?
The traditional dance of the people of Nagaland is called Chang Lo or Sua Lua. Alungstu remains their traditional clothing usually worn by the affluent. Mostly yellow and adorned with flowery patterns, this regalia is known to depict wealth and opulence.
When it comes to folk music, Nagaland thrives on string instruments like the Tati and Theku, Asem, and Jemji, all of which are derived from animal skin and horns.
Have you ever been to Nagaland before?
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Written by: Gloria Aimanehin, Thu, Feb 02, 2023.