6 Amazing Festivals of Nagaland That Are Worth Witnessing For Tourists (2021)
Nagaland is the land of festivals in India because of the diversity of tribes, languages, and culture. Each tribe takes pride in preserving its cultural heritage, and their colorful festivals can lead anyone to believe that Nagaland is always in celebratory and festivity mode.
All traditional festivals of Nagaland are agriculture-oriented as the majority of the population is directly engaged in agriculture. In Kohima, there have been initiatives by locals and the state tourism department to promote socially responsible tourism by the involvement of the tribal councils, the church, village elders, and the youth.
Kohima demonstrates the celebration of various kinds of festivals and traditions. Since agriculture is the primary source of economy and business for the people here, the Nagas festivals primarily revolve around fields and agricultural plantations. Some of Kohima’s significant festivals are:
1. The Hornbill Festival
It is one of the biggest attractions for tourists in December to relish the sports, local cuisine, folk dance, crafts, and art performances during the world-famous Hornbill festival. Nagaland has successfully positioned the Hornbill festival as one of the most sought-after events in the tourists’ calendars internationally.
The Government of Nagaland launched this festival in December 2000 to promote inter-tribal cultural exchange and interaction. The hornbill bird appears in folklores of all tribes in Nagaland, signifying a uniting thread among all the diversity, and the Hornbill festival reflects the same spirit.
2. Festival of Ao
The Ao Festival is a festival of Nagaland celebrated to mark the culmination of the seed sowing process. The main reason for the celebration of this festival is to pray to the gods and please them to provide them with the best harvest. Once the seeds have been sown, the festival continues for three long days in May. The people swing and sing and make merriment during the festival by praying for the season’s best harvest. In August, the Aos tribe also holds another festival called Tsungremong to show the youths’ zest and vitality.
Matsu is a festival of the Ao tribe, and it is celebrated at the end of the sowing season to pray for a good harvest. This festival comes in May and goes on for three days.
The Ao people dance sing, and share food at a central village location while praying to their tribal gods.
3. Festivals of Chang
This is another tribe living in Kohima, and each year, they observe about six different kinds of festivals. They are Kudang LEM, JeinyuLem, the Haongang community’s PoangLem, and then the other NaknyuLem, MoungLem, and Monyulem festivals. All these festivals are festivals of joy and joy.
The Chang tribe of Kohima, Nagaland, has six different festivals every year to mark various seasons and milestones in the local agriculture calendar. Among the six, the Kundanglem, NuknyuLem festivals are the most important ones celebrated in April and July to mark harvest and sowing seasons.
4. Festival of Angami
Sekrenyi is a festival celebrated in Kohima, Nagaland, by the Angami tribe at the end of February to pray for the whole community’s welfare and well-being. Like any other Naga festival, this festival is a happy festival where people booze and smoke and eat and make merry. However, to make this festival a successful one, certain rituals need to be followed.
5. Festival of the Sumi
Ahuna is a Sumi tribe festival, which is a sort of thanksgiving ceremony. Tuluni, where the Nagas eat rice beer, is another festival of total intoxication, celebrated in July.
6. Festival of Zemi
Sankara and Sivaratri are celebrated with joy and merriment by the Zemi tribe in Kohima. This is a festival of immense happiness, and the people here spend a whole week enjoying this festival by smoking and drinking the local beer.
Each tribe of Nagalandhas its rituals and practices that almost translate into a place of celebration during the year. Before the advent of Christianity, Nagas were animistic, and their civilization is primarily based on agriculture. The festivals are often connected to elements such as the spirits that saunter the villages and forests, soil fertility; group bonding; field sowing and harvesting, and after harvesting merrymaking.