Have you heard of the Aoling festival? Come to Nagaland and share the joy of the spring festival of the Kanyaks who, mostly, live atop the blue hills of Mon district in the north eastern state. Festivity grips the colourful tribe with the advent April after they complete sowing of seeds in the hilly places. The indigenous tribe in the hills state find it an ideal time to enjoy the season in jovial mood. This is a festival of fun and laughter of the people dressed in traditional sporting headgear and ornaments. The striking features are dance, music, drinks and food that keep the atmosphere quite festive. The focus of attraction is the show of guns and gun powders culture in the event much to the delight of the tourists from the country and abroad. It implies that long ago they made guns and gunpowders for self defence and livelihood. The inevitable item of the week long festival is rice beer which is served in bamboo mugs.
The Kanyaks keep waiting for the blooming red coral tree flowers and red lilies to identify the ideal time for the celebrations. The best place to visit and share the joy is Wanching village which turns into a nest of singing birds when the celebration reaches its climax. The people of this colourful tribe, however, have not a fixed schedule in the name of the event. Every single day of the festival bears significance. The day one is known as Hoi Lah Nyih where firewoods are collected along with vegetables meant for the event.
Some of them weave new traditional cloths and ornaments for the family members apart from preparing rice beer. Chickens sacrifice is an inevitable formality of the festival which help the people predict future. The next two days are Yin Mok Pho Nyih and Mok Shek Nyih. Both the days are kept for training the boys and apart from searching and gathering of domestic animals meant for the event.
Sounds of log-drums throbs the people in front of the Morung, where the women perform dances with folk songs in the lips. Some of perform the unique warrior dance displaying guns and spears depicting the stories of valour in the battle. Then the guns are fired randomly throughout the village to ward off the evils. The remaining days are meant to visit and honour the near and dear ones apart from remembering the loved ones who is no more.
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