Thoku Emong — a festival of gratitude.

Most folk festivals are about gratitude, and thanks giving. So is the Lothas Naga festival of Thoku Emong. Thoku means feast, and Emong is halt.

The festival is celebrated by the Naga Lothas tribe in the first week of November. The government however has currently declared 6th– 7th of November as the festival days though it goes on up to the 9th at times.

The priest proclaims the onset of the festival by going from house to house collecting contributions to the festival. It is considered bad luck not contribute and it is also believed that the contribution returns in multi-fold during the harvest. The priest offers a ritual to thank the Sly God and the Earth God for the bountiful harvest. After the prayer a fraction of this collection goes into the priests basket and rest is used to make rice beer. A pig is bough with collection. This pig is pierced through the heart and abdomen and omens and oracle is interpreted. The priest then makes a formal prophecy of the destiny of the tribe. The pig is then divided and distributed to every household.

If visitors visit the village during the onset of the festival they are given a choice, they either stay back till the festival is over or leave the village immediately.

Prayers and homage are rendered to the people who passed away during the year.

Marriages are fixed conducted, during this period.

Folk narrations of the history of the tribe are sung and dancing happens.

Alterations are forgiven and bitterness is given away. It is a time for the tribal bonding. Broken houses are reconstructed, it is essentially the festival of gratitude, forgiveness, reconstruction and rejuvenation.

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