Amongmong Festival is a popular pre harvest observance in the north-eastern state of Nagaland in India. The festival is mainly observed by the Sangam tribe, with the sole aim of promoting togetherness among themselves. It is a six days long festival, and it falls in the month of September every year. This year 1st of September will mark the beginning of the Amongmong Festival in the state of Nagaland. This long festival is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in the state, and everyone comes together to also worship their local deities during these six days. One of the main rituals performed during the festival is the placement of three cuisine stones next to each other, each denoting the worship of something vital—in this case, the tribe’s health, good harvest, and lastly, prosperity.
Singkitshaa is known as the first day of this six days long festival. The beginning of the festival is marked by a priest making an official announcement in the night, about the various important things about the festival that need to be taken care of. This is followed by the villagers quickly making all the necessary arrangements of food, some special wines, as well as firewood. This is followed by the priest making an announcement of having the spirits of the dead demarcated from the living ones, and thus begins the festival of Amongmong, which is mainly all about worshipping for a good harvest.
On day one, that is Singkitshaa, domestic animals such as cows, pigs, etc. are bought. On the second day, all these domestic animals are tied down and then sacrificed. The meat is then divided, wherein one portion is kept at a place while the other portion is distributed among the people of the tribe. This is known as Athiru as well as Akhingru. On the third day, known as Musuyangtap, the oldest women of the Sangam tribe worship three oven stones, which represent Lord Lijaba. Then they place three rice balls on these three oven stores, followed by pouring wine on them respectively. The villagers during this participate in feasts, drinking, dancing, and more celebrations.
On the fourth day, known as Kikha-Langpi, all the male members from the tribe together go forth to clean the pathways as well as the villages in general, to bring prosperity. Right after that, a feast takes place at the priest’s house, where everybody has to contribute for the wine as well as meat. All the married ladies then place ginger, cotton, and chillies wrapped in green leaves, in the fields, in order to protect the crops from all calamities. The fifth day, known as Shilang Wuba Nyunong, sees the villagers visiting each other’s houses, as they exchange gifts, have food, etc. The last day, that is the sixth day, known as the Akatisingkithsa, has all the people from the tribe worshipping their local deities and enjoying feasts as the festival finally wraps up.
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