Moatsu festival is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the small but immensely beautiful state of Nagaland. Making the entire state lively with its vibrant festivities, Moatsu Mong festival is celebrated by Ao tribe of the state. The main idea of observing this festival is to invoke God’s blessings.
First week of May comes alive every year with homecoming of this festival once again as this is the best time for merry making, singing, dancing and merry making. Though traditionally, this festival is a six-day long affair, these days, it has shrunk to only three days. However, the fun of festivities is not reduced in anyway. It is still celebrated with same feeling, vigor and joy as it used to be earlier.
This is a kind of harvest festival like many other festivals celebrated all over India since India is mainly an agricultural country. This festival is a time to relax completely as this is observed after completing all the heavy and laborious tasks of sowing grains, constructing and repairing houses, cleaning of village ponds (Tsubu) and more tasks. Even though times have changed, the days before the festival are still filled with hectic activity and people are extremely busy.
Though the festival is celebrated in the whole Nagaland, the main place of all the important festivities and events is Chuchuyimlang village. Even people from different places in the country come here to enjoy the festival. This is the time for the outsiders to have a ringside of view of Naga lifestyle. Nagaland Tourism is considering promoting this festival as a national event.
This is big annual event and deserves complete makeover of the homes, people, moods, minds and all. So, people gear up for the festival by cleaning and decorating their houses, shopping for new things like decorative, clothes, etc. And the biggest charm of the festival, rice beer, is brewed in large quantities. Moreover, for the big festive feasting, pigs, fowls and cows are fed to make them fat. People get together and visit villages in groups, distributing gifts among lots of singing, dancing and feasting. The eulogies sung to commemorate the traditional heroes are among the unique attractions of the event. The big fire, Sangpangtu, is the symbolic representation of the event. Around this fire men and women sit in their best attires and eating delicious food. One more thing that is unique about the event is the forecast by a learned person, who by the guidance of the God, foretells about the good and bad days that may affect the village.
Many tradition and rituals are the part of this festival. Everyone is relaxed for a week, refreshes their body, mind and soul to take up future tasks, and challenges in the year ahead.