Mao Naga’s Are Gearing Up For Their Chiithuni Festival on Jan 7


𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐮𝐧𝐢 𝐅𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝟔 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬.

𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐲 𝐍𝐀𝐆𝐀 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐬, 𝐬𝐨 𝐛𝐲 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦 𝐂𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨-𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 “𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐆𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭” 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐍𝐚𝐠𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐬. 𝐍𝐚𝐠𝐚 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐲.

They believe that the rituals performed during this festival are a way for villagers to pray to gods and ancestors to guide them throughout the year.
The first day of
is a day of preparation called Nisha. The villagers made preparations with pure hearts. They are also very clean, cleaning and washing everything regularly. On the 18th day of Chuthunikhro, rice wine is prepared and neighbors gather to taste it.

The next day is a rainbow day. Today is a big party. Food is cooked and served. The head of the family then proceeds to offer the prepared food to the gods. In the evening, the villagers would light a campfire and sing and dance while eating.

The third day is called Oshu Kope and is a special day where various rituals are performed. In the morning, all the villagers gather together and then go to the forest to hunt and catch birds with their hands. Whoever catches the first bird is considered the luckiest person of the year. The third day of the festival is considered auspicious for married women. They are invited to their parents’ home and return to their husband’s home with gifts of a piece of meat and rice wine, demonstrating the eternal family bond. [3]

On the fourth, fifth and sixth days of Kituni, people celebrate throughout the day. People eat and drink locally brewed rice beer and enjoy traditional music, dance and games.

On the first day of the next month, Chisiilopra (February), all the men and women of the village are dressed in old clothes and have weapons (men) and baskets (women). They then go to a place in the mountains to celebrate the end of the festival. Once there, the boys play traditional games to showcase their skills. People believe that on this day everyone should go home before the sun goes down, otherwise there will be bad diseases at home.

This holiday has declined due to the acceptance of Christianity. Blessings from gods and ancestors have been replaced by asking God for blessings, and many traditional games have been replaced by modern games.

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