Nagaland is one of the states in the North-eastern part of India that is not only famous for its mesmerizing scenic beauty, but is also renowned for some important festivities as well. You may have even heard about the enchanting Hornbill festival that is held in Nagaland every year. But did you know there are several other festivals in Nagaland as well that are not only hopeful to the people of Nagaland but holds historical and cultural significance as well?
With sixteen to seventeen tribal groups, Nagaland is predominantly a tribal state where several people are engaged in the primary sector for their livelihood. If you are a motorcycle-enthusiast, Nagaland will blow your mind since it is the ultimate spot to ride your bike and explore the entirety of the state. Apart from Kohima, Zunheboto, Wokha, Tuensang, and many other places are also known to the entire of India. If you are planning a trip to Nagaland, try to make your trip during the time of some of the famous festivals of Nagaland.
8 Best Festivals In Nagaland
The following festivals in Nagaland have been seen by the people over there for centuries. Some of the festivals are quite common among people all around the world, but tourists do not explore the rest of the festivals.
1. Hornbill Festival
To kick off the list about the celebrations in Nagaland, one must know about the Hornbill festival. You might have heard about the festival but do you know the minute details about it? To start this section, note that to experience the Hornbill festival, you should visit Nagaland during the first week of December. It is one of the biggest festivals that takes place in Kisama village. The significance of the festival lies in the fact that it is not an ancient festival, and it was started in the year 2000 to popularise Nagaland among the tourists. They were tremendously successful since the number of tourists visiting Nagaland increased significantly. You will be able to witness not only the traditions and cultures of Nagaland but several rock concerts and dance performances as well during your time at the festival. If you are feisty enough, you can take part in the chili-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.
Date: December 1 – December 10
Sekrenyi is a famous festival among the people belonging to the Angami tribe in Nagaland. If you want to visit the festival, you should visit Nagaland in February. It will be a life-altering experience for you if you get to witness the entirety of the festival. This festival is a 10-day long affair that involves food, fun, and festivities. On the first day of the festival, only the young bachelor men are allowed to work. The next day animals are hunted for the main celebration. During the actual festival, hunted animals are cooked, and the delicious dishes are served to the people gathering it. The men have to slaughter chickens neatly. Women out their prepare meals from the slaughtered chicken. You will be surprised to see that the oven where they cook the chicken is constructed for that purpose only. After the festival, they destroy the stove. The fourth day of the festival is vital among young couples in the area. If two young men and women love one another, they exchange gifts among themselves made by them to express their love. The last few days of the festival is quite average and is mainly spent with loved ones in the village. On the final day of the festival, everyone eats cooked meals together. The important reason for the festival is to promote harmony among each other.
Date: February 17 – March 2
Tsukheneye is a festival that is mainly held in the Phek district in Nagaland and celebrated among the people of the Chakhesang tribe in Nagaland. This festival is quite famous among them because they are related to the harvest of their crops. It is held mainly during March. You will get to see pretty exciting things during the festival, including the sacrifice of a rooster early in the morning during the first day of the festival. The festival lasts for four days and is followed by ritualistic bathing in the river for purification. Men take part in the bathing part of the festival. They firmly believe the rituals of the festival will affect their harvest for the upcoming year. One notable feature of the festival is that this festival does not allow women to participate.
Date: The festival is held during the second week of March every year.
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Aoleang is one of the essential harvest festivals in Nagaland. The festival is primarily celebrated by the people of the Konyak tribe in Nagaland. If you want to witness the festival, you should visit Nagaland in April. The festival happens around five days, and you will be able to observe different things each day. It occurs after the harvest of new seeds in the fields of the tribal people, and it also welcomes the new year during spring. Several customs, rituals, and traditions make the festival so worthwhile. You will get to see the song and dance routines of the tribal people of Nagaland during the days of the festival. The government of Nagaland has done a phenomenal job to promote the festival, and several people all around the world go to Nagaland to experience the festival by themselves.
Date: April 1 – April 10
Naknyulem is a fun-filled festival that is celebrated by the people of the Chang tribe. It is promoted to celebrate not only friendship but the culture and tradition of the tribe. The festival is held during July, and it is filled with dance, songs and several exciting games. You will get to witness different games like Tug-of-war, Long jump, high jump, top-spinning, grabbing cooked-pork with the mouth, and many more. There are pretty weird games out there too that you would find quite amusing. This festival allows you to hear the mystical sound of a Naga instrument called the ‘Kongkhim’ that is played only by the women. Overall, you will have a gala time while participating in the festival.
Date: July 13
If you want to witness the Mimkut festival in Nagaland, you will have to reach there within the second week of January. The festival is mainly celebrated by the people of the Kuki tribe in Nagaland. This festival is religious in nature and is honored to please the demon ‘Thilha’ successfully. There are several peculiar rituals associated with the celebration that you will be amused to see. You will get to witness the sacrifice of a fowl to please the said demon by the local people of Nagaland. The month of January is called the month of Tolbol by the tribal people of Kuki, and it is believed that the demon ‘Thilha’ visits the place during that month, and hence, the festival is celebrated.
Date: January 17
7. Tokhu Emong
Tokhu Emong is a festival that is celebrated during the first week of November to mark the end of the harvest season for the people of the Lotha tribe in Nagaland. This festival is comparatively chilled out than the other celebrations of the state of Nagaland. People of the Lotha tribe usually have a glorious time among themselves by celebrating the festival through singing, dancing, drinking, and having a delicious feast. The significance of the festival is to celebrate ‘rest day’ among themselves since they have completed their harvest, and they are set for the winter.
Date: Seventh day of November.
The festival of Tuluni is celebrated by the people of the Sumi tribe in Nagaland during the month of July and is celebrated for three days. The people of the Sumi tribe celebrate this festival to create harmony among themselves and to make the young couples feel at home. Several locals out there exchange gifts among themselves to commence the celebration, and the families staying there cook delicious meals and have them together to increase the harmony among themselves. This festival is mainly there to celebrate the harvest of crops that are bestowed upon them.
Date: First week of July
So, these are the top festivals in Nagaland that are celebrated by the locals enthusiastically. There is not just Hornbill Festival that is celebrated in the state but there are many other vibrant festivals. So, if you are planning to explore Nagaland anytime soon then plan your vacation near these festivals to witness them. Plan a trip to Nagaland if you still haven’t and tick off this destination from your travel list.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Nagaland
What are the names of the festivals in Nagaland?
Nagaland is blessed to have several festivals. Some of them are Sukrunyi, Hornbill festival, Moatsii Mong, Sekrenyi, Naknyulem, Bushu Jiba, Aoleang Monyu, and many more.
What is the importance of the Hornbill festival in Nagaland?
The Hornbill Festival is held in the Kisama village of Nagaland that is located at a distance of 12 km from Kohima. This festival is mainly conducted to display the cultural and traditional heritage of Nagaland.
What happens in the Tokhu Emong festival of Nagaland?
The Tokhu Emong festival is a harvest festival in Nagaland, and it happens during the season of harvest.
When does the hornbill festival occur in Nagaland?
The hornbill festivals happening around the first week of December each year in Nagaland.
What is the primary cuisine of the people of Nagaland?
Naga people primarily consume rice, different types of meat, and cooked vegetables as their regular diet.
When is the apt time to visit Nagaland?
If you want to explore Nagaland entirely and comfortably, visit there during the summer season because the weather will be pleasantly perfect, and you will be able to get to every location of the state. Also, you can visit during winter, if you love the cold. Please, avoid Nagaland during the monsoon season.
How can one visit Nagaland?
Nagaland can be reached through Dimapur that is 75 km from Kohima via flight, or you can reach Dimapur via train from Guwahati. After reaching Dimapur, you can reach Kohima quite easily via rental cab or public transportation.
Does an Indian tourist require permit to visit Nagaland?
No, you do not require a permit to visit Nagaland if you are an Indian. Even foreigners do not require a license anymore.
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