What is Naga New Year Festival?
In mid-January the Naga tribes descend from the hills in winding columns of colorfully costumed villagers to gather for their annual New Year celebration.
The Naga, who practiced head hunting through at least the 19th century, inhabit the mountainous Northwestern region of Myanmar. Though British missionaries converted the majority of the population to Christianity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of the tribes still practice traditional animist ceremonies.
The Naga people’s traditional headdress is a conical cap covered with dark feathers and adorned with curving boar tusks. Tribal leaders wear much larger versions of the tradition cap with multiple pairs of tusks jutting from the sides, and a chinstrap-like chain of bird skulls framing the face.
To celebrate a successful harvest, the tribes gather for the Naga New Year Festival and perform ritual dances and songs handed down through generations of animist traditions.
When is Naga New Year Festival?
The Naga New Year Festival usually falls on January 15. It’s best to plan far in advance as the festival grounds usually rotate from year to year between several villages.
Naga New Year Festival Highlights:
Cultural enthusiasts find the timeless tribal dances and songs performed at the Naga New Year Festival to be a captivating experience. This ancient festival is rarely seen by outsiders, and well worth the effort when exploring the region on a Myanmar tour.
Where is Naga New Year Festival Celebrated?
The Naga New Year Festival may be held in the towns of Lathe or Layshi, or another sight depending on the year. Guests on our luxury tours of Myanmar can reach the region via a flight from Yangon or Mandalay.
Western-style clothes are fine to wear when attending the festival.