Aoleang (festival) is the biggest traditional festival of the Konyaks which takes longest duration that prolongs for six days, that is why Konyaks mark it from April 1 to 6 at present days. This spring season is a favorable time for festival when the cold winter is over; wet and hot summer is yet to come. People are in festive mode when the sowing of the fields is done and nature is blooming with its new face. The activity of the old field of a year is over, and the work of another new field had just begun with seedling. So it marks the end of a year and heralds a coming new year. Therefore, this festival can be seen as a New Year festival.
The main object of the Aoleang is celebrating the presence Wangwan, the divine spirit of blessing. They take the name of Wangwan praising and invoking its presence while singing, dancing, eating and drinking. Traditionally this Wangwan is symbolized by erecting bamboo with its branches hanging the tender palm leave in front of the Morung. From the first day, they would erect it and invite Wangwan to their community during festival, then asked all prosperity and blessing for the year through all singing and rituals of the festival. The last day of the festival is marked when in the evening they carried the symbol of Wangwan out at the outskirt of the village wishing goodbye to Wangwan till they meet in the next year again.
The Aoleang is marked by much singing, dancing and feasting. This is the time when people remember their friends and relatives. Everyone prepares best food in their houses. Everyone invites and visits friends and relatives.
This is the time people remember ladies members of the family who were given married to other families either within or outside community with best food items and gifts.
During this festival, they also observed the second day as to bid final adieus to the dead souls of the year in family and community. People visit the bereaved families and the graves of their near and dear ones.
Aoleang is the time to mark boys and girls adulthood which called Süopanpu. Young boys and girls whoever attained adulthood shall start wearing traditional formal dresses and join the adult group in singing and dancing from that day.
It is also a time of peace and reconciliation. Anyone willing to make peace and reconciliation by forgiving the past incidents or debts takes the opportunity of Aoleang festival as they share the feast, singing and dancing together.
Aoleang is the time people worn and shown their best dresses and attires. Every young and old prepares and preserves best ones for Aoleang festival.
Aoleang Monyu is closed with community social work on the last day.
A.Peihwang Wangsa, Member Secretary
Konyak Aoleang Organizing Committee