India | Nagaland

Yemshe Festival

Yemshe Festival is celebrated by the Pochury tribe of Nagaland. This festival is held on the 5th of October. It is celebrated to welcome the harvest season and seek the blessings of god. Every member of the tribe, irrespective of age or status, participates in the celebrations.

The houses and the village area are cleaned by the young people. The rituals are performed by the head of the family. The material required for the rituals are tied to a post in front of the house. The festival comprises of the big Yemshe and small Yemshe.

The big Yemshe is celebrated by the young people. Many young men and women meet and exchange food and wine on this particular day, forming prospective couples. The small Yemshe is celebrated by everyone in the village.

A big feast for the whole village is hosted by the members of a rich family. The feast comprises of meat and wine. Dance parties are organized. Pigs and chicken are sacrificed in a ceremonial manner. The sacrifices are performed according to the fertility of the land. Pig is sacrificed in the more fertile land, while chicken is sacrificed in the less fertile land. Some of the foods are offered to the souls of the dead.

The last day of the festival is celebrated as a feast-cleansing day. On this particular day, no person works or goes on any journey. All work will commence on the next day, after the end of the festival.

Updated on 26th May, 2015


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