Showcasing culture and vibrant colours, Konyak community celebrates Aoleang festival in Kohima
Kohima, Nagaland: Konyak Union Kohima celebrated its premier festival Aoleang on Tuesday at the Naga Heritage Village in Nagaland's Kisama.
Nagaland's minister for Tourism and Higher Education, Temjen Imna Along, was the special guest at the event.
Conveying his greetings to the Konyak community, Minister Imna Along said, "Aoleang is truly one of the best-celebrated festivals among the tribes of Nagaland, and the Konyaks have been really enthusiastic in celebrating Aoleang all over the state."
He added, "i am truly delighted to be part of the Aoleang celebration in Kohima today. The festival not only represents the Angami community but is a confluence of all the tribal communities of Nagaland."
Lauding the Konyak Union Kohima for a "tremendous job" in organising the festival, the minister said the food prepared by the Mopong-Hongkong Union Kohima was "great".
"Konyak tribe celebrate the Aoleang festival from April 1 to 6. On the first day, the men's group goes to the forest to catch wild animals, while the women collect banana leaves and vegetables. On the second day, the menfolk slaughter the animals and invite their in-laws and guests for a grand celebration," H Angnyei Konyak, president, Konyak Union Kohima, said, sharing details of the festival.
He further said the main festival is celebrated on the third and fourth days and during these two days, locals immerse in joyous celebrations by singing folk songs and dancing.
"On the fifth day, the tribal community organises another feast -- a small feast remembering their departed loved ones and relatives, while on the sixth day, people disperse to their own homes and the festival gets over. On the seventh and final day, the bamboo polls used for decorating human skulls are destroyed," the president said.
He also stated that the Aoleang festival celebrates the onset of Spring and the locals seek divine blessings for good health and a bountiful harvest at a pre-harvest festival.
"The identities of our people are defined by our culture, customs and tradition. Celebrating the Aoleang festival helps us to come together, know each other and it also enables our the younger generations to be aware of our culture and traditional practices," he said.
The celebration was marked colourful cultural performances from Chen Area, Mon Circle and Tobu Area.
Aoleang is a festival very close to the hearts of the Konyak people of Nagaland. The celebration showcases the unique colours and rich traditions of the community.