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Unique Festivals in Nagaland, India

Unique Festivals in Nagaland, India

Toward the North-East of India, lying in the corner bordering Myanmar, Nagaland is one of the “Seven Sisters”. Known for its myriad tribes with their friendly people, rich culture and traditions, Nagaland is one of the smaller hill states in India. The Nagaland state has a very distinct character in terms of the developmental history and social composition. When you go there, you’ll be surprised at how “Un-Indian” the Naga people look like and how beautiful their state is when being compared to other parts of India. It boasts the unity in diversity through the cultures of different indigenous tribes, systems of governance and the variety of people. There are 16 major tribes in Nagaland that hold festivals every year.

Historically, the Naga people are well-known as the brave headhunter warriors. Topographically, the state of Nagaland is situated at hilly region with salubrious and pleasant climate throughout the year, except for the smaller region in the foothills. Mongoloid stock by race and speak Tibeto-Burman group of languages, the Naga people also speak English and Hindi widely in the state as well. Speaking a variety of languages is not a problem in Nagaland. They also consider the security and safety of their guests as an honor and will never allow any kind of harm to be done to their visitors/guests. It’s no doubt that most travelers find it’s fascinating and comfortable to travel to Nagaland and experience the unique cultures.(image by walter callens)

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The unique festivals of the Nagaland are being celebrated by the tribes with gusto and fervor. Since nearly 60% of the Nagaland’s population depends on agriculture, majority of their festivals revolve around the theme agriculture. Participation in the festivals is compulsory because they considered their festivals as sacred. Even though majority of the tribes have become Christians since the last few decades, festivals like these are still being celebrated as a way to introduce their cultures to the world out there. The Chakhesangs usually celebrate Tsukhenyie, Mimkut by the the Kukis, and the Kacharies celebrating Bushu, which are all being celebrated in January. In February, the Angamis will celebrate Sekrenyi, Aoling by the Konyaks in April, the Aos celebrating Moatsu in May, Tuluni by the Sumis in July, the Changs celebrating Nyaknylum in July, in October the Pochurys celebrating Yemshe and November will be the month when the Lothas celebrate Tokhu Emong.

However, every year the famous Hornbill Festival will be held in the first week of December in order to encourage interaction between different tribes and as a way of promoting their cultural heritage as promoted by the Government of Nagaland. The venue for Hornbill Festival is around 12km from Kohima, at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. It is during this Hornbill Festival, the tourists can expect to watch all the tribes of Nagaland participate in the festival. Visitors will also get the chance to get closer to the people and culture of Nagaland where everyone can enjoy performances of songs, dances and dine together with the people of Nagaland.(image by Caisii Mao)

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The real reason why the festival is named after the globally respected and well-known bird, the Hornbill, is because it is always displayed in most of folklore of the tribes. If you are going to India, we’d like to suggest visiting to the Nagaland, a different part of India, which is often being depicted as the “Switzerland of Asia” and where you can feel as if you’ve stepped into a paradise. A totally different place on earth, full of the nicest people in the world.


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Feature image rajkumar