Festivals and Dances of Tamenglong region are closely linked up with religion which is associated with economic vocation and socio-cultural ethos. Festivals reflect different stages of agricultural activities where talents and physical strength are expressed.
The important festivals are as follows:-
This is the main festival observes after harvesting. It signifies the completion of the agricultural activities and re-occurred the light after Moon soon & hard and toil.
Two important ceremonies performed during this festival:
This festival is normally observed in the month of December
There are two parts of this festival:
This is a kind of Agricultural crop festival normally celebrated during November.
This festival is observed when Sesame (Katuai) and other crops are harvested. Every house should do this in this festival to ensure good health and as a part of their custom.
The time of festival differs from village to village and community to community but most of them celebrated in the month of January and February. However the purpose and the meaning of the festival is the same. This is also known as “Rih Ngai” meaning the festival of war and is exclusively male festival. No female take part in it. Genna is declared and no stranger is allowed to enter the village during this festival. Fire use in the house earlier is not used but fresh fire is made an d used for cooking as a new begins.
This festival is observed during the month of March – April as seed sowing festival. The priest invokes the gods to grant prosperity and good fruit.
Gudui-ngai festival is observed right after the seed sowing festival during the last part of April. In this festival everyone has to drink the juice of ginger, a kind of soup prepared with chicken ginger an d Mushroom to ensure good health and toward off starvation and prevent food scarcity throughout the year.
This festival is observed when harvesting is started. The young people, the inmates of boys and girls dormitories carried out social work, Inter-village path and different foot path leading to paddy fields as a part of competition. The festival feast is given by the winner dormitory.
This festival has regional variation some villages combined with Gaan – Ngai. This is especially for children for piercing of ear to those who did not do in the last year.
There are two kind of Merit:
“KUT’ mean festival in all the languages and dialects of the various KUT celebrating festival of the traditional Jhum crops of these tribes. The purposes of celebrating KUT festivals was a traditionally thanks giving to Almighty God (Pathen) by our ancestors for their bountiful autumn harvest from their Jhum cultivation, celebrated it with merriment, sports, dancing and drinking zu (Prepared from fermented rice). The exact date and time might differ here and there, but the name KUT’ was common and the theme was same.
This KUT festival which had been existence in various forms much before the advent of Christianity amongst the various tribes of North Eastern India and Burma was revived in its contemporary form in 1979 at Keithelmanbi, Sadar Hills in Manipur. It continued to be held annually in one-day events by incorporating a variety of cultural/folkdance, contemporary music, and beauty contests. It was given state recognition and was declared a State holiday in 1982.