This is the main agriculture festival of the year, which lies in the month of February and its celebration spread over a period of about eleven days. It is celebrated to mark the sowing season. The Village Chief sows some seeds in first instance marking the sowing season and then the rest of the villagers start to sow their fields. During all these days, merry-making takes the form of eating, drinking, games, dancing and singing. Dancing and singing usually commence in the evening, tall bamboo and pine resin torches light up the grounds and the dancers dance round the fire. Flickering lights, glimmering dresses and ornaments, flashing spears and daos with background songs add the attraction of the festival.
The Konyaks are one of the major tribes of Nagaland who basically belong to the Mon district. Aoleang Monyu is the main festival of the Konyaks which is observed in the first week of April (from 1st to 6th April). According to Konyak Calendar, it is celebrated in the month of Aoleang Lee. The villagers celebrate the festival to get blessings from God “Yongwan” for a good harvesting. Each day of the celebration has its own particular name and significance, viz, (1) Hoi Lai Yah Nyih (2) Yin Mak Pho Nyih (3) Yin Mok Sheh Nhih (4) Lingnyu Nyih (5) Lingha Nyih and (6) Lingshan Nyih. During the festival the Young and old people wear their traditional dresses and headgears decorated with feathers and wild boar tusks. Accompanied with the log drums they performs folk dances and songs and have a great feast.
It was believed that in ancient days, during the forefather’s time, the entire world was enveloped with total darkness, day and night could not be differentiated. The darkness was so thick that people could not even go out for collection of firewood and water. They remained inside their home for complete six days and by then they become short of everything. In order to keep the fire burning inside homes they burned out every available things and when nothing was left they are compelled to burn even the horns of buffaloes, mithuns and cows that were hang in front of the houses.
On the seventh day the light came as usual. The people of the earth became extremely happy and by way of giving thanks to the God this Naknyu lum was held. In this Naknyu lum no worship is performed but certain rules are strictly observed.
This festival is held on the eleventh month of Chang calendar which falls during July. The counting of the days and the announcing of the day is made by the Ungshedbou of Oung Clan. It should be a sudden announcement leaving two days gap only. It starts on the last day of the moon, i.e. flour grinding day. Domestic animals are slaughtered, young and old play spinning tops while music and laughter pervades from the women folks as they play the kongkhin (in Chang) made out of bamboo split. Village streets are swept and cleaned so do houses and their surroundings. Firewood and water are stocked.
The second day, which is the dark-moon-day is called ‘Youjem’. On this day no one go out of the village, even for drawing water. There are exchanges of gifts and food items among the friends and relatives. Meat, wine and freshly packed breads are plentifully used. Sports like Top spinning, tug of war, high jump, long jump, climbing of oiled pole and jumping and grapping big lumps of well cooked meat hang in row along bamboo rope. Women play on kongkhin. They too compete with this instrument. Men and women, young and old, all engage themselves in feasting and merrymaking the whole day but no dancing.
The Tuluni Festival of Nagaland is celebrated around the second week of the month of July. It is the most significant festival celebrated by the Sumi Naga tribe of Nagaland is the Tuluni Festival. This festival is celebrated to rejoice the most abundant and fruitful season of the year in Nagaland. The Sumi tribe in Nagaland celebrates the Tuluni Festival with splendour and grandeur. During the Tuluni Festival there are prayers and offerings that are given to Litsaba, who is the deity of fruitfulness who gives life and protection to the crops. During the Tuluni Festival in Nagaland , a goblet is made with the leaf of plantain , to serve the rice beer. Tuluni is the name of this wine that is consumed by the Sumi tribe. “anni’ is another name for ‘Tuluni’ meaning the season of plenteous crops. To make the celebrations much more joyous, it is during the Tuluni festival that the fiancé is invited over to the finacee’s place and the young couples exchange gifts. Engaged couples get married and start their new lives and all are fed lavishly with meat and other delicious food. There are folk songs and ballads that are sung to keep the spirit of the festival high.