NAGA New Year Festival in Layshi (2006)

Tour Program

Every year in January. NAGA New Year is celebrated. This year, the Festival will be celebrated in Layshi, Sagaing Division, Union of Myanmar.

It is the tradition of the NAGA people to share joy and happiness with friends and guests on this auspicious New Year and Thanksgiving celebrations to mother nature for granting bountiful harvest for all year round.

Myanmar is a land of diverse topography and national races. High up on the mountains of North West Myanmar are the proud national group, known to the world as NAGA, one of the over 100 different national residents of the Union of Myanmar.

The NAGA Hills, as commonly referred to, have steep slopes and deep ravines. Cold wind blows during the winter months. Summer months are not hot but cool. Streams leap over huge boulders or hiss quietly along. The climate may be harsh for the NAGA people and those of the brethren Myanmar nationals, but the NAGA New Year Festival in the NAGA Hills will give each and every visitor to Myanmar an experience which is closer to nature, and an experience to cherish.
This year's NAGA Festival will be celebrated during the 2nd week of January 2006. The exact dates will be announced soon.
 

   




The venue of the Festival is Layshi in Sagaing Division, which is accessible from Mandalay to Homalin by plane; an adventurous upstream to Htamanthi by boat or car and to Layshi by car. Further information on NAGA Festival 2006 will be posted on website soon.

More information on NAGA in Myanmar 2006

Of the more than 100 national races of Myanmar, the NAGA is a small but colourful national group. These honest and hardy people inhabit the mountain regions in the north western Myanmar. Khamti, Lahe, Layshi and Htamanthi are the principal towns of the NAGA region.

The NAGA earn their livelihood largely through agriculture and livestock breeding. There is cultivation of paddy, corn, soybean and other pulses, as well as vegetables like garlic, onion, cauliflower and fruits (orange, damson and bananas).
They also grow tea and coffee on the hill slopes.

The NAGA breed pigs, goat, chickens and cattle. Of the cattle bred, there is one special species known as "Nwa Nauk" which is larger and beefier than the Myanmar cow of the plains. It is a cross between a cow and a buffalo. There are also a few cottage industries like spinning and weaving, pottery and black smithy.

NAGA from the outlying villages come to take part in the festivities dressed in their colourful best. The warrior like youths carried their shields and spears; wore headdresses framed with the curved horns of the wild boar and adorned with fur and feathers.
At the New Year celebrations, endless cups of rice wine are drunk; bison and wild boar meat are roasted, tribal dances are performed to the loud beating of drums. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the event and to see people living in their traditional ways as part of the natural way of living. If visitors wish to join in their celebrations, they are most warmly welcomed, because it is good to share the happiness with the NAGA nationals.
 

Our brethren NAGA nationals live mostly in Sagaing Division, the north west corner of Myanmar, close to the Indian border. The NAGA nationals belong to the Tibeto Myanmar group. The NAGA settle mostly in the hilly areas and also in the areas of Chindwin River. At one time, NAGA traditional New Year Festivals were celebrated community-wise where friends from far and near were invited. NAGA elders envisaged that it should be the occasion for amity in broader scope. They then initiated to celebrate New Year Festivals township-wise or at village tract level. Again in 1990, NAGA elders decided to celebrate the event region-wise so as to usher in progress and amity. They also agreed to celebrate NAGA traditional New Year Festival on every 15th January, and the gathering place to be set in rotation among the Townships: Khamti, Layshi, Namyung and Lahe'.