States of India
Phom Monyu Festival
The phom tribe have four major festivals each having unique significance. However, of all the festivals, Monyu is the most popular and biggest festival, which falls in the month of April soon after the sowing season, and spreads over six days. It also marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. A few days prior to the festival the green signal of the dawn of the festival is made by beating the log drum with a distinct tune synchronized purposely for the event, known as Lan Nyangshem. The village elders perform a ritual and predict what the forth coming festival would be. In case the prediction shows a sign of danger, the villagers are warned to be careful during the festival. Monyu also signifies bidding farewell to the on going year and heralds the dawn of the new year. It is also the time of prayers and dedication for the sprouting crops that are already sowed. The main feature of Monyu is the occasion when the male members of the family show love and renewal of affectionate feeling towards their married daughters and sisters by presenting them the purest rice beer and specially prepared food. Planning and decision relating to community welfare to be implemented thoughout the year are also decided during the festival.
The first day of Monyu is the day for over all preparation, besides preparing of domestic chores every household go to collect wrapping leaves and bamboo. On the second day brewing of all kinds of rice beer is done. The third day is meant for the varying age-groups, from oldest down to the youngest the age group, to gather and feast amidst dancing, merry-making, singing folk songs etc. The fourth and the fifth day is meant for general festivity and also the arrival of guests from the neighboring villages. On the last day of Monyu the elderly people feast by exchanging a jug of the purest rice beer and meat. The most common game played during the last day is 'Swing' made out of wild rope. The whole process is carried out in a ritualistic manner.
The Tourism Department of Nagaland will be co-sponsoring the coming Monyu festival at Pongo village along with the Pongo village council. Pongo village is 36 kms away from the National Highway 61, from Changtongya via Longleng.
The nearest Airport is Jorhat and Dibrugarh in Assam. Tourists can enter this region via Amguri-Changtongya and Mokokchung-Changtongya.