Naga New Year Festival
Naga New Year Festival is one of a kind of festival that you should not miss. Unlike all the other tribes, Naga tribes use the most unique and traditional items of conical red headgear decorated with wild-boar canine teeth and white-black Hornbill feathers. The syle of Naga features dramatically fearless in the spear with the shaft decorated red-black hairs and the unique Dao with broad blade and long handle.
Before the 19th century they were known to be headhunters and preserved the heads of enemies as trophies. Nagas are also famous for their craftsmen-ship. Every tribe has a different way to build their houses. A common practice among all the tribes is decorating the entrances of their dwellings with the heads of animals they hunted.
How do Naga Celebrate their New Year Festival ?
The traditional Naga festival includes Folk songs and dances which are essential ingredients of the culture. Naga keeps alive most of their folk tales and songs by orals. Naga folk songs are both romantic and historical, with songs narrating the stories of famous ancestors and incidents. The popularity of Nagaland in and outside India is mainly due to the co existence of a number of colorful tribes and ethnic cultures. Throughout the year, all the villages holds tribal festival in all around.
Why do Naga Celebrate their Festival?
The Northeastern state is home to numerous tribes as they got their own customs and traditions that translate into a place for celebration almost year round. The Naga, who live in the foothills of the Patkai mountain range, now comprise only three clans; others having become extinct or migrated into India along the mountain chain.
Nagas cultivate various crops, which is their main source of livelihood. They live nomadically and shift from one hillside to another to set up their villages when the soil becomes depleted. After harvesting their crops, the Nagas celebrate their New Year Festival and welcome the next season.
This festival is a social event, but is also to share previous year experiences and to make plans for the upcoming one. The festival is a time to discuss how to overcome difficulties. The Nagas pray for abundant crops, good health of their domestic animals and for good weather. Another aspect of this festival is the family reunion. Since agriculture is an important part of Nagaland, this festival brings all Naga tribes of the entire region together to celebrate their harvest and pray for a good new year.
In ancient times, this festival was held in every village. Nowadays, Naga Self-Administered Zone includes three townships namely Lahe, Leshi and Nanyun. Indeed, there is so much to learn from the ancient tribes that have been able to conserve their culture. Witnessing a festival in Nagaland is one of the best ways to understand the difference between these tribes and to understand why they attach to their cult and customs.
Among the most popular festivals of Nagaland is Hornbill, which is one such festival where almost every tribe of that state takes part. Most of the celebrations are marked by folk dance and music, preparation of variety of food and drinking of rice beer. Numerous Naga tribes spread throughout the Northwestern hills of Myanmar and most are from the Chin State.
Norms and Customs at Naga New Year Festival
The Naga festival is social. But it is also to exchange previous year experiences to make plans for the coming year and to discuss how to overcome difficulties. They pray for abundant crops and domestic animals and to have good weather. Another aspects of this festival is reunion of relatives who are away from home. They worship to their deities by scarifying the animals.
The festival is usually in January. Each January the Naga ethnic tribe’s New Year Festival takes place in the far northern region of Myanmar. Naga festival is usually held alternatively at the three towns of Lahe, Leshi and Nanyun. The annual festival is held for two full days each January. The first day is set aside for rehearsing traditional dances, with the second day for the festival proper. Ethnic tribes people strut their stuff in the afternoon and evening in front of a clamoring throng of spectators.
Carrying dry rations on their backs, Naga men and women from far away villages have to trek up and down the mountainous region to reach the festival. The opening ceremony of the festival is held the morning at 8:30am, followed by dance competitions and sporting events by troupes from various Naga villages. Evening festivities will include welcoming the New Year by dancing around a large bonfire.
It will be held from 13th to 16 th January 2019. Naga Festival Myanmar is the best opportunity for you to visit the remote Naga region and to experience one of Asia’s last authentic events of traditional culture and custom. It is sure that visitors to the festival can see the culture and living standard of Naga here.