Aoleang means “a great feast” its feast is celebrated to honor the visit of a divine (Almighty) over the land of the ‘KONYAK’. Blessing are sought from the creator of the universe to make the current year prosperous in every way.
Before the great feast, it is mandatory that the task of sowing seeds, construction of huts, fencing the cultivated plots to keep down domesticated buffaloes, cows, goats etc. must be completed in all respects. For the KONYAKS, Aoleang is the greatest feast inorder to please the Almighty, the best available cattle are slaughtered and provided to anyone who visits the house during the festive days that last for a period of six days.
The significance of Aoleang is enormous and the festivities are conducted with care, honor and due respect. A special program is held for the departed souls, a time honor practice to maintain an un-ending relationship with family/relatives that are no more. The in-laws of every family are given due respect and honor during the festivities. The best portion of meat slaughtered in the family are given to the kin of the womenfolk who by virtue of marriage ceased to be counted as a genuine family members of the family. Aoleang– in short, is a great feast celebrated to honor the heavenly visit over the land of the Konyaks and at the same time to seek blessings for a prosperous year and contended life. Regional terminology used for referring Almighty as “Hahyang” “Yongwan”.
The melodies sounds of birds chirping, blooming of multi-colored flowers germination of the seeds lying dormant below the soil, presence of clear water even before the rain, presence of newly hatches fishes are indeed the signs of the arrival of a new phase that promise fortune, prosperity, happiness brand new lives to all the creatures living under this vast universe.
During the first day of the feast, Bamboo sign post that are highly decorated are hoisted in every Morung (A place of male gathering). People of all ages rejoices singing folksongs, playing of logdrum and display of war dances till the final day of Aoleang. Thus, Aoleang brings a moment of joy, contentment, recreation a sense of security and pride. It is also the time to gather all the families/relatives and in-laws with a sense of forgivingness and love, restoration of broken relationship, and a time of merriment with one another.
Mon Town, Nagaland, India.Editor