Locally known as Phousanyi, Sekrenyi of Nagaland is essentially a festival of the Angami Nagas. This festival is observed for a period of around ten days from the 25th day of the Angami calendar month, Kezei.
This one is essentially known as the purification festival that is held to wipe out all the past sins of the devotees. The major objective of this festival is to eliminate negative energies as well as to renew and cleanse the entire village.
Sekrenyi Festival is traditional in nature and involves a great number of rituals as well as customs. One of the most highlighting features of it is Thekra Hie wherein kids and teenagers sit together and take joy in singing traditional songs. During this time, people also relish their senses in beer and scrumptious meat.
Apart from that, young men and women sing songs as well and are served with rice, beer, and meat. in a nutshell, Sekrenyi is quite a fun festival of Kohima, Nagaland.
Major Attractions of Sekrenyi Festival of Kohima
1. First Day
Various rituals and ceremonies are performed on the occasion of the Sekrenyi Festival in Nagaland, which is one of the most celebrated festivals of Kohima. The preparations for the first day of this festival include the cleansing of the wells by the males. But, only young boys who are above the age of 6-7 years are allowed to take part in this ritual.
Then, in the morning of the first day, also known as Kezie, all these young men go to the wells for the purpose of washing their body parts and also simultaneously, sprinkle the water on their clothes and even weapons for hunting. After quenching their own thirst, they collect the water for the womenfolk of their homes. They draw water from a pot named Zumho.
On that very day, a chicken is also slaughtered by each and every man who is eligible for the feat. While doing so, it is ensured that the chicken dies in the hands of the man slaughtering it. This is essentially done according to the myth of cock must die in hands. Afterward, it is cooked in a completely separate oven made out of wood. But, as per the ritual, the women cannot eat from this pot. After savoring the chicken, the men put water in their mouths and spit it out, marking the end of the day.
2. The Second Day
With the onset of the second day, many young men assemble in the village to perform ablutions. For this purpose, the men adorn themselves with two new shawls. After this, the people ritualistically sprinkle the holy water on their chests, knees as well as right arms. This ritual majorly signifies washing away sins and ill luck. This day also goes into collecting the wild fruits to decorate their houses, particularly, the house that belongs to their common ancestors.
3. The Fourth Day
While the third day is kept quite understated, on the fourth day of the Sekrenyi Festival, men and girls with shaven heads gather and sing traditional songs for the entire day. These songs carry a flavor of valor and bravery. The men and women wear traditional dresses on this day. And while the men carry head hunting spades, the womenfolk carry baskets along with them. The couples further travel inside the jungle and collect corks, stones, wood pieces, and many other things. All of these collected items are used in preparing beads, necklaces, and other interesting things.
4. The Fifth Day
With the onset of the fifth day, all the young couples travel to their parents' homes for preparing items like spears and various ornaments.
5. The Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Day
The sixth and seventh days are holidays; a time when majorly people like to stay with their family. However, in some of the villages, the seventh day is devoted to hunting, although this is practiced only in a few villages. And then on the eighth day, a ritual involving replacing the old gate with a new one is practiced.
How to Reach
If you want to enjoy Nagaland festivals, especially this one, then Kohima is the place to be which is located at an approximate distance of 2,282, 3,084, 1,359, and 3,343 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. And while many prefer to take a flight, there are other ways to reach here as well. Let's start with the most popular mode.
If you are thinking of visiting Kohima by air then you would need to reach Dimapur airport first. It is interesting to know that the airport in question was built during World War II and is the only civil airport in Nagaland. Dimapur airport is situated at an approximate distance of 60-70 km from Kohima. This airport has very good flight connectivity with other Indian cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Various airline giants like Indigo, Air India, and more operate in Kohima.
Once you reach there and deboard the flight, you will need to take some means of public transportation to cover the remaining distance to reach your respective destination. Public buses travel with good frequency in town and apart from buses, there is always an option to take a private taxi.
If you are planning to visit Kohima via road then you are in for a show. Yes, and by this, we mean taking pleasure in witnessing the scenery while you are with your pals. While traveling to Kohima from Delhi, you can take NH 27; from Mumbai, you can opt for NH 52; from Kolkata, a good option would be NH 27, and from Bengaluru, you can take NH44. Apart from this, Nagaland State Road Transport buses are also a good alternative if you are planning your trip via the road network.
The nearest railway station is situated in Dimapur by the same name. And it is located at a distance of around 74 km from Kohima. It is said that this railway track was extended to Tinsukia and on the Dibru-Sadiya line sometime in 1903. This station has good overall connectivity with major Indian cities. From Delhi, you can take the Brahmaputra Mail from Old Delhi station, and from Bangalore Cant in Bengaluru, you can opt for 15901 Dibrugarh Express.