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Mao community celebrates Chithuni festival

Retd SDO Pf. Daili enlightening on significance of Chithuni festival at the Chithuni celebration at Mao Baptist Church Midland, Kohima. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA:
Published on 8 Jan. 2009 1:52 AM IST
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Mao community Wednesday celebrated the second post harvest Chithuni festival under the aegis of the Mao Union Kohima at Mao Baptist Church premises, Midland, Kohima. Chithuni is a festival celebrating the onset of New Year and a festival of thanksgiving and purifications said senior citizen and retired SDO (PWD) Pf.Daili while enlightening the occasion on the importance of Chithuni festival. Chithuni festival and the month is important as the ritual to forecast the fate of the year for the community, village and also individuals was performed during Chithuni festival. According to the lunar calendar followed by the forefather, the year ends with the month 'Ekro' (Farewell) and the new year begins with Chithuni (New day/year) 'Khro' (month), he said. The year begins with Khrokha (first day of the month) when 'Phehrümane' (Gena) was observed and entire man folk wake up early in the morning and go to community pond to purify themselves by taking bathe, washing their clothes, tools and weapons. The festival began with 'Nisha' (announcing the festival) when preparations such as butchering domestic animals are made for the fest, followed by 'Nijü' (Main festival) and 'Shokope' (seeing away guest) when community hunting games (Rahu Kohu) was perform and the entire manfolk goes for competition in hunting birds and animals. On the sixth day of the festival - 'Ni-amü', the villagers climb mountain peaks where various sports competition including long jump, high jump, short put, wrestling and dancing were held for the youths and later the womenfolk returns with firewood as a preparation for the next festival. President Mao Union Kohima N.Daili, in his presidential thanked the state government for officially recognizing Chithuni festival of Mao and declaring January 7 as restricted holiday for the Mao community. He termed Chithuni festival as a festival of worship, thanks giving, purification, reconciliations and goodwill, music, dress and feasting and merry making after the bounty harvest by people from all walks of life in the Mao community. Earlier, the celebration began with invoking God's blessing by Assistant Pastor Mao Baptist Church Neli, welcome song by Mao Catholic Women Kohima. The main function of the celebration concluded with Kaisa Asosü pronouncing the benediction followed by a grand Chithuni feast.

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