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Naga New Year Festival

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Popularly known as the Land of Festivals because of the countless festivals that take place year round, Myanmar is still a country for discovering remote tribes. Festivals are closely intertwined with Buddhism centering around a spiritual focus of gratefulness and prayer for good over evil. Each January the Naga ethnic tribe’s New Year Festival takes place in the far northern region of Myanmar. This festival brings all Naga tribes of the entire region together to celebrate their harvest and pray for a good new year. Visit other hill tribes nearby. Stay in traditional tent and try local foods and rice wines. Hear ethnic songs and participate in the New Year ceremony. Naga Festival Myanmar is the best opportunity for you to visit the remote Naga region and to experience one of Asia’s last authentic events of traditional culture and custom.
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Every January of the year, the Naga people from different part of their region gather at one of their towns to celebrate their Naga festival. They have to walk several days over mountains and through valleys in order to celebrate the Naga New Year Festival if the festival is held far away from where they live. The festival lasts two days and it is only recently that the foreigners can visit and enjoy in their festival. The Naga Nationals, however, are not performing any shows for the visiting outsiders but enjoying what they perform for the New Year since the time of by gone ancestors.

There is many a clan that speaks their respective native languages. And also their customs and traditions may also differ, but they live by the concept that they are brothers to the spirit of nature. They prefer the wild jungle and remote mountaintops to the comfortable and modern lives of the City.

Nagas
The most unique, traditional items that can be found in almost all of the Naga tribes and that distinctly separate Nagas from other tribes are the Conical red headgear decorated with wild-boar canine teeth and white-black Hornbill feathers, the spear with the shaft decorated with red-black hairs and the unique Dao with broad blade and long handle. Before the 19th century they were known to be headhunters and preserved the heads of enemies as trophies.

The Naga tribes are expert craftsmen. Each tribe has a different way of constructing their huts. A common practice among all the tribes is decorating the entrances of their dwellings with the heads of buffaloes. The Naga people love color and this is evident in their shawls and headgear. The designs on the costumes are unique to each tribe.

Folk songs and dances are essential ingredients of the traditional Naga culture and it is through oral tradition that folk tales and songs are kept alive. Naga folk songs are both romantic and historical, with songs narrating the stories of famous ancestors and incidents. There are also seasonal songs which describe various activities done in a particular season.

Naga Festival

Nagas cultivate various crops, which is their main source of livelihood. They live nomadically and shift from one hillside to another to set up their villages when the soil becomes depleted. After harvesting their crops, the Nagas celebrate their New Year Festival and welcome the next season. This festival is a social event, but is also to share previous year experiences and to make plans for the upcoming one. The festival is a time to discuss how to overcome difficulties. The Nagas pray for abundant crops, good health of their domestic animals and for good weather. Another aspect of this festival is the family reunion.

In ancient times, this festival was held in every village. Nowadays, the Naga Tribal Committeehas chosen one celebration site where the festival is to be held on January 15. All tribes taking part in the festival congregate at this site. Naga songs and dances depict the history of how Naga tribes lived harmoniously and the festival is a way of renewing that harmony. This festival has become state-sponsored for the benefit of tourism and limited to Leshi (and Lahe) since 2003.

 Homalin is a remote, small town in northern Myanmar which lies close to the Indian border, at the head end of a bend in the Chindwin River. It has the backdrop of large forested mountains, which rise to a height of 9,000 feet. Leshi is located in the far northwest region of Myanmar. It is home to the Naga tribe and is 25 kilometers from the Indian border and 100 kilometers from Htamanthi.

 

Tamanthi Wildlife Reserve is a wildlife reserve located in this region and is a sanctuary to tigers, elephants, gaur (Asiatic bison), leopards, serow, and bear. Folklore has the area as a home for Werecats or tigers, who appear to hunters as beautiful young girls in the day time, only to become ravening beasts at night.

 

Welcome to Naga New Year Festival, 2014

Yangon..Mandalay..Hkamti

January 12   :Your flight leaves Yangon Airport to fly to Hkamti Via Mandalay. More   visitors come on board at Mandalay and the plane leaves for Hkamti, the nearest air terminal to Lahe. At Hkamti a welcoming committee waits for you and conduct you to jetty. Cross the Chindwin river, one of the major tributaries of them Ayeyarwaddy to Sinthe Village. Enjoy lunch and refreshment at Sinthe Village before continuing to Lahe by Light air truck. Arrive at Lahe and check in to your accommodations at local houses. Dinner and rest for the night.

January 13   : Optional trekking and visit to nearby villages and see Naga people in their daily life. Lunch boxes shall be provided at the reception and information counter. Take rest and have a nice sleep at Local Traditional House.

January 14   : The traditional Naga ceremonial Pole will be erected  at the festival grounds and various Naga clans in their traditional costumes will be there to participate. Explore on your own the villages in the vicinity or Lahe.

January 15   : The opening ceremony of the Naga New Year begins on the festival grounds early in the morning. Enjoy the traditional New Year Food and rice wine with the Naga community elders. At the end of the ceremony, dance competitions by the troupes from various Naga villages and sport events will start. Finally in the evening a large bonfire  shall be lift and everybody takes part in welcoming the Naga New Year Dance around the bonfire.

January 16   : You leaves the Naga New Year Festival and head back home, either to Mandalay or Yangon. Service hereby comes to and ends.

***End of our service***

Tour arrangement

Transportation        :Schedule flight by Myanmar Airlines (including 2ways tickets)

                                      Four wheel Drive (5 persons per car)

                                     Shuttle boat

Accommodation      : Naga Traditional House

Meals                         : Set menu from site restaurant (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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