The Angamis in Nagaland have no dearth of occasions to remain spirited and festive. Feasting, singing and dancing are the way of their lives. The much vaunted festival of these people atop Touphema in the north eastern hills state is Sekrenyi. The ten day long event known also as Phousanyi comes amid the February coldwaves. The word “Sekrenyi” literally means sanctification. Sekre stands for sanctification, nyi means feast while thenyi stands for festival. The annual event keeps these tribal people festive in the harvest season. Festivity grips the Angamis two days before the festival when a heap of firewood meant for the festival is collected. The next day is meant for animal hunting for the feat. Then the main part of the festival commences where the pure bachelors come out with a cleanliness drive in the wells outside the village at night. Early in the morning, the men take bath in the well before sprinkling waters on their clothes and weapons. They also have to fetch water for the women who are not allowed to come out of the homes. Then each of the men sacrifice a chicken. The lower part of the chicken and its intestines are pulled out to be kept hanging at the entrance to their houses.
The chicken is separately cooked and before the meal, the liver is offered along with some wine to the god in search of strength to kill the enemy. Local rice beer dominate the event.
Then they collect wild fruits to decorate the house of a common ancestor. On the 3rd day, they cut bamboos to be fry. The most striking part of the festival is the thekra hie, a part of the event when the young people sing traditional songs before rice beer and cooked meat.
The young couples find it very significant on the fourth day when they go to the jungle and collect corks, stones, wood pieces etc. With these, they make necklaces and bracelets along with other ornaments. This is also an occasion for them to exchange of gifts among their near and dear ones. The gifts are given for some astounding works. It would help them consider the quality of their close friends. On the Fifth day, the young people make ornaments, spears, dao for future use.
The next three days are reserved for entertainment purpose with friends and family members. But a section of this tribe go on hunting on the 7th day while the most significant part falls on the 8th day. The dominating agenda is the bridge pulling or gate pulling between two villages. Cooked meat dominates the final day of the festival which is distributed among st the villagers.
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