Suhkuruhnye Festival of the Chakhesang Tribe (Jan)
On this day every man is to take a fresh-water-bath and is forbidden to use water fetched by women. To perform this ritualistic ceremony (Suhkruh) everything new is used including utensils and fireplace. The men folk go to the well early morning before any animal or bird touches or partakes of the water and takes a fresh-water-bath immediately after the first crow of cock, which indicates the breaking of a new day, in order to sanctify themselves. Thereafter, the unpolluted water, considered to be holy, is brought home, fire is made out of the fire making method and unblemished cock is killed and cooked with the holy water and eat it to sanctify the boy/boys for the rest of their lives. Even when a new house is constructed “Suhkruh” is performed in order to get his house sanctified. This whole process is called “Suhkruh” and “Nye” is known as festival.
On this day, the entire men folk go for community bird-trapping. The collected birds are hung on a decorated tip of a tall bamboo as a symbol of “Suhkruhnye”. Different kinds of birds so caught are believed to foretell the fortunes for the forthcoming days of the year of the concerned individual.
Sekrenyi Festival of the Angami Tribe (Feb)
Hega Festival of the Zeliang Tribe (Feb)
The first day of the festival called “Hega Teu Dap”. On this day, all the killings of animals for the festival are done in every household and those who have no such animals either buy or share with other members. On this day itself the eldest of the family calls all his grandsons and daughters for a common meal to his house. Here they shared special songs that are composed specially for their grandsons and daughters. The grandsons and daughters have to wear new shawls for that special occasion. In the evening the engage couple, especially the bride, will present all the traditional dresses like shawls and other garments. Together with the boys and the elders there will be a common gathering at the bridegroom’s Morung (the bride and the bridegroom are included).
From the first day of the festival the eldest from each khel lights a new fire and this elders have to take only pork throughout the festival. Also, during the festival, no men should sleep with his wife for fear of losing good luck and courage especially in hunting. On the sixth day, elders put off the new fire and celebrate. But the rest of the villagers can start their work from that day onwards with all the blessing and luck from Almighty Good who always care for his children.
Luira Festival of the Tangkhul Tribe (Feb)
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.
Aoling Monyu Festival of the Konyak Tribe (April)
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.
Moatsu Festival of the Ao Tribe (May)
Naknyulem Festival of the Chang Naga Tribe (July)
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.
In the evening, at the time of sunset, everybody remained inside the house. No man walks and rooms outside. During this hour, in the front and back door of every house a seed called ‘Vui long’ (Tape seeds) are buried inside paddy husks and burnt. Every member of the family remained still to hear the bursting sound of the seed. The tape seed explodes and if the sound and the exploding fragment bounds back towards the house. It is a bad omen and if the sound is good and the fragments bounds off it means good fortune. At this hour, ‘Shambuli Muhgha’, a God from heaven descends and visits every house and any one found outside is harmed. The third day is the day is the day of cleaning the village surroundings and approach roads. After the celebration of this festival other activities like cleaning of paths leading to the fields and neighboring villages starts . A daughter born in this month is named as Monyu.
Tuluni Festival of the Sumi Tribe (July)
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.