Payer (puja) plate
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Nagaland is the farthest-lying state in northeast India. It borders the states of Assam and Manipur to the west, Arunachal Pradesh to the northeast, and Myanmar to the east. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. With a population of nearly two million people, it has a total area of 16,579 km - making it one of the smallest states of India.(Wikipedia)

Festivals of Nagaland

Hornbill festival in Nagaland


Time: December

Duration: One week

Location: Kohima, Nagaland


Nagaland known as the land of ‘Naga’ people is also the land of festivals. In order to facilitate tourists to have a glimpse of all the Naga festivals at one time and one place, the Government of Nagaland has evolved a festival called Hornbill Festival, which is celebrated at Kohima, the capital town of Nagaland. The Hornbill Festival celebrated between 1st & 5th of December every year. The Hornbill Festival of Nagaland is aimed at reviving, protecting and sustaining richness of the Naga heritage and traditions. The state of Nagaland boasts 16 major tribes. The names of the tribes are not a typical recitation of Indian ethnic groups - the Angamis, the Aos, the Chakhesangs, the Konyaks, the Kukis, the Kacharis, the Sumis, the Changs, the Lothas, the Pochurys. All the tribes are noted for their unique character. Nagaland’s calendar is filled with various tribal fests throughout the year.

The Festival is named after the hornbill, a globally respected bird that shows up in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. This one week long festival unite all of the Nagaland, in one giant color-splashed hodgepodge of dances, performances, crafts, parades, games, sports, food fairs and religious ceremonies. The festival both exposes the culture and tradition of tribal people and reinforces Nagaland’s identity as an unique state in India’s federal union. Traditional arts are also featured, with paintings, wood carvings and sculptures by modern Naga artists on display. Naga troupes sing folk songs, perform traditional dances and play indigenous games and sports. In the evenings a program of music concerts, catering for all tastes, ensure that the festive spirit continues through the night.

Moatsu festival in Nagaland


Time: May

Duration: Three Days

Location: Mokokchung, Nagaland


Moatsu Festival is celebrated by the Ao tribe of Nagaland. It is celebrated in the first week of May every year. The Aos observe Moatsu Mong after the sowing is done. The whole festival with full of merry making and fun is observed only for three days from 1st to 3rd of May. During this festival one of the symbolic celebrations is Sangpangtu, where a big fire is lit and men and women sit around it. Men and women are dressed in their best attire and the womenfolk serve the wine and meat. The natural customary practice of the forefathers was competing in making the best rice-beer and rearing the best possible pigs and cows to be slaughtered during the festival. The womenfolk weave the best of traditional garments and adorn themselves with all their fineries. They join the men folk in dancing, eating and drinking and composing warrior songs. Singing songs in praise of the lover and the village as a whole is done and the older men encourages the young people to be bold and heroic to defend and protect them from enemies as head-hunting was practiced during the fore-fathers time.The principal aim of this festival is to invoke Almighty God’s blessings after finishing the diverse activities, such as repairs and construction of houses by elders of the Putu Menden (Village Council), marriages in spring season, ploughing of old and new Jhum Kheti, cleaning up the Tsubü (Water Wells).On completion of all these manifold activities celebration of Moatsu Mong takes place.

Nazu festival in Nagaland


Time: February

Duration: Ten Days

Location: Phek, Nagaland


Nazu festival is one of the most merrymaking festivals of the Pochury tribe of Nagaland. This gala event is celebrated for 10 days in the month February prior to the sowing of seeds for the year. The festival is celebrated with must glitter and gaiety. Songs and dances are performed by the Pochury tribe during this occasion. Khupielilie dance is one of them performed by the women folk of the Pochury tribe. It is more entertaining and competitive than ritualistic. The dancers wear Ascunyi (Ribbon like head dress), Kiileniinyi (Long mekhala worn from the chest down to the calf), Achulhre (Necklace like ornament worn round the waist over the Killeniinyi), Akhi (Armlet), Akhusa (Bangle for forearm) and beautiful necklaces called Asker. This dance is noted for the harmonious movements of hands and legs along with the songs of different tunes and beats.