Sekrenyi is celebrated annually in the month of February. The Sekrenyi festival is the biggest festival of the Angami Nagas and it falls on the 25th day of the Angami month of Kezei.

Sekrenyi

It is a celebration of purification accompanied with feasting and singing. A highlight of Sekrenyi is the Thekra Hie, when the village youths gather and croon traditional songs throughout the day.

About Sekrenyi:
• Sekrenyi festival is the biggest festival of the Angami tribe.
• It spans two days and is observed solely by men, symbolizing purification and sanctification.
• Also known as “Phousanyi,” meaning the festival of purification/sanctification.
• Its timing is based on lunar appearances, making its occurrence variable in accordance with the modern calendar.
• Typically falls between late winter and early spring.

Beliefs and Values:
• Rites performed during Sekrenyi are believed to foretell the family’s luck for the year.
• It symbolizes a desire for bumper harvests and good health for family members.
Duration and Activities:
• Traditionally celebrated for 10-12 days, although the core rituals are confined to the first three days.
• Various social and cultural activities extend the celebration, including mass mate feast (Kracü), gate pulling, and village-to-village festivals (Kekinyi).

Sequence of Rituals:
Kizhie (First Day)
• Involves placing banana leaf strips on the house’s main pillar with blessings for the family’s well-being.
• Men clean a pond, symbolizing purification, while women draw water for the following days.
• Preparation of meals and sacrifice of domestic animals.
Sekre (Second Day)
• Men cleanse themselves at the pond (Dzüseva) before performing rituals.
• Ritualistic strangle of male fowls (Geizhie) to test omens.
• Setting up a new hearth and performing ritual prayers (Mhopieva, Çhüsepe).
Thepruo (Third Day)
• Farewell ritual to ‘Sekresenuo’ (the Omen of the Sekre) beyond the village gate.

Special Features:
Mass Mate Feast (Kracü)
• Celebrated for three days by youth of the same age group (Pelikro).
• Involves learning costumes, literature, rituals, folk songs, dances, and traditional values.

(Sourced from an article by Khriesaneisa Rutsa, Programme Executive, North Eastern Service (NES), All India Radio, Shillong)

Mokokchung Times

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