Nagaland is lush with diverse culture and grandiloquent tribes. The precise definition of the word ‘Momgmong’ can be interpreted as ‘everlasting unity’. From the seventeen tribes in Nagaland, the Sangtam is a major tribe of North East India. The Sangtam tribes ares fluent in expressing their beliefs and culture. Their culture is depicted in the practice of their many rituals and ceremonies. Their ancient music and folk dance also speak of their unique ethnicity. All together, a total of twelve festivals are acknowledged by the Sangtam tribe of which Mongmong festival is heeded with most importance and pride. Significantly, the festival is celebrated in its entire splendor. Most of the people belonging to the Sangtam tribe originate from parts of Kiphire district in Nagaland. Being a widely acclaimed tribe of the state signs the Mongmong festival as one of the popular festivals of Nagaland. The festival with its element of amusement contributes to the flourishing tourism of Nagaland. The attention of the festival is highly centered on the subject matter of harvest. The festival is observed through the practice of worshiping God for all his gifts in the trajectory of life. The entire district is employed in the course of the holidays to prepare for this festival which incorporates ritualistic ceremonies and feasting.
The Sangtam people offer their due respects and prayers once the seeds sown in their fertile lands begin to nurture and grow. The prayers are for a very thriving cultivation. Mongmong festival distinguishes the dead from the living. The separation of the two is the true essence of the festival. The religious advocate in charge of the district known as Beburu, recites a certain rite twice. Recitation of the prayer is done once in the evening and once in the morning. The Morning Prayer is considered rather more powerful and brings prosperity. Whereas, the prayer constituted in the evening is forged for the banishment of evil spirits that linger around their lands and proliferate bad vibes.
Mongmong is celebrated from the 1st of September to the 6th of the same month. The festival is celebrated every year for six days. The number six holds significance of consequential importance in the Sangtam tribe. It is after the sixth day when a new born baby is christened after its birth. Also, when a person dies, people mourn their loss for a number of six days. Each day of the festival is vital to the entire festival as a whole.