Amidst the political chaos and tiring discussions in every household that goes on and on about state development and corruption throughout the year, comes December with the Spirit of Christmas that blurs everything bad and ugly into everything warm and joyous. The season to be jolly instills a feeling of togetherness and a celebration of love and peace.
Nagaland being a Christian state celebrates Christmas with fervor. Boosting the merry making is the chilly winter that uplifts the celebrations not just within family and friends, but also with strangers who, are out and about on the streets singing Christmas carols, without any hint of hesitation, spontaneously wishes the other a “Merry Christmas.”
All this celebration starts with the onset of the month of December which witnesses the Hornbill Festival that is held for 10 days in Kohima. This festival is held to promote and showcase the many cultural heritages of Nagaland. People throng to see the cultural displays put together and get a taste of what Nagaland and it’s people is all about and no visitor is given a blind eye. Everyone is greeted with the warmest of hugs and handshakes, except at the check posts of course.
The highlight of this season is the preparation to bring in the Christmas warmth: decorating homes and localities with Christmas ornaments. Then follows the rest: families and friends gathered around by a bonfire, Jim Reeves and Boney M Christmas songs played on the stereo, sending out cards, gifts or baked food to people you know.
I come from the district of Mokokchung which looks magical as the night draws near and the sky is lit wit stars. Being a hilly region, the sky mirrors the land at night. There, the Christmas festivity is taken to another level with cake race, carol competition, neighborhood decoration competition, etc organized and participated by all the different localities. The distinct decorative piece that stands out is the figure of Santa Claus: Santa sitting on the roof, Santa hanging by the tree, Santa on a sleigh by the road. In 2012, a towering Santa of thirty feet was erected in the locality I live in. No home is seen without a decorated yard if not a star hung at the front porch at the least.
December is the most decorated and joyous month of the year as it brings in the air of festivity harboring unity among the people.