Hega festival is a very prominent and popular festival of Nagaland, North East India. It is celebrated by the Zeliang community in Nagaland. Persistently praying to God and thanking him for his blessing is an important part of this festival. People offer prayers to god and appeal to bless them with joy, harmony, courage, prosperity, fertility, luck and riches. Hega is a festival of colossal importance to the Zeliang community. It is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by the Zelaing people. It is a kind of Valentine’s Day for the Zeliang people who celebrate this festival in harmony and in amiable spirits. Young couples are engaged and wedded during the course of this festival. It is believed that the people who get married or engaged during this festival have a long lasting and fruitful married life. Cultural dances and folk music is a part and parcel of this festival. The performances are also forms of prayer. The Zeliang culture is reflected in the many ceremonies and rituals. The events and celebrations of the festival continue for about five whole days. The preparations for the festival are made beforehand. The festival follows a pattern of rituals to be carried out on specific days. The rituals involve programs of flamboyant dancing and singing. It also serves as a tourism festival for tourists who visit especially to observe the festival.
Hega festival is celebrated in order to evince appreciation towards god for all the privileges he had offered. People join in prayer to appeal the Almighty and ask him to shower them with blessing in the form of luck, riches and courage. The merry festival brings people together in unison. People ask the almighty to protect them during difficult times. They also ask God to show them the correct path during their difficult times.
Hega festival is celebrated every year in the month of February. The processions carry out for about five days. Each day is assigned for a certain ritual, ceremony or practice. The celebrations begin from the 10th of February and conclude by the 15th of February.