The tribes of Nagaland celebrate their festivals with gusto and fervor. More than 60% of the population of Nagaland depends on agriculture and therefore most of their festivals revolve round agriculture. They consider their festivals sacred and so participation in these festivals is compulsory.
Nagaland is known as the land of festivals as each tribe celebrates its own festival with dedication and passion. Some of the important festivals celebrated are: Tsukhenyie by the Chakhesangs in January, Mimkut by the Kukis in January, Bushu by the Kacharis in January, Sekrenyi by the Angamis in February, Aoling by the Konyaks in April, Moatsu by the Aos in May, Tuluni by the Sumis in July, Nyaknylum by the Changs in July, Tokhu Emong by the Lothas in November and Yemshe by the Pochurys in October.
To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. It is also called the ‘Festival of Festivals”.
Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival usually takes place between the 1st and the 10th of December every year in Kohima. The Music festival and rock contest is now held in nearby Dimapur.
Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
For visitors it means a closer understanding of the people and culture of Nagaland. It must be included in your itinerary, if you are visiting Nagaland during that time to enjoy the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland.
The Festival is named after the hornbill, the globally respected bird and which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes.
The week long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display. Festival highlights include Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition and sale of Arts and Crafts, Food Stalls, Herbal Medicine Stalls, Flower shows and sales, Cultural Medley – songs and dances, Fashion shows, Beauty Contest, Traditional Archery, Naga wrestling, Indigenous Games, and Musical concert.
Every year the State of Manipur celebrates the “Manipur Sangai Festival” from 21st to 30th November. The ‘Festival’ is named after the State animal, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur. It started in the year 2010 and has grown over the years into a big platform for Manipur to showcase its rich tradition and culture to the world. The festival is labeled as the grandest festival of the State today and helps promote Manipur as a world-class tourism destination. Every edition of the festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of Arts & Culture, Handloom, Handicrafts, Indigenous Sports, Cuisine, Music and Adventure sports of the state etc.
The festival will reflect the State’s proud cultural heritage and the love for art which is inherent amongst various tribes inhabiting the State of Manipur. The State’s classical dance form, ‘Ras Leela’ is quite famous all over the world for its distinctiveness from any other dance forms in India. The Ras Leela will form an important part of the dance performances at the Manipur Sangai Festival 2019 besides the various other folk dance performances like the Kabui Naga dance, Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance etc. which will be showcased at the festival.
The festival will also bring to light an array of Manipur’s best indigenous handlooms and handicrafts products. The themed huts of the variety of tribes at the heritage park will represent the living-style of these tribes and exhibit their indigenous products. The artistry and creativity of the tribes of Manipur will be seen in their handloom and handicrafts products which are otherwise not widely available in the market.
Exclusively performed by Nyishi tribes in February to welcome the spring, and a successful harvest, Boori Boot is a must experience over a trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Nyishi is the largest community in Arunachal Pradesh, and are mainly settled in Daporijo, Upper Subansiri Locale and Raga and Dollungmukh ranges of Lower Subansiri Region of Arunachal Pradesh. This fortnight-long festival begins with various competition like tug of war, folk dance, and archery. It is believed that the festival evokes the spirit of Boori Boot, who will bless them with all the happiness, and free from every kind of disease. A special puja is performed by the priest- Nibu, followed by an animal sacrifice for the mankind to be blessed with prosperity and be free from diseases.