Moatsu Mong is the premiere festival of the Ao Nagas of Nagaland. Moatsu is usually celebrated for 3 days starting from May 1-3 and marks a festive time for merrymaking for the Ao Nagas. The main celebration of Moatsu Mong takes place in the Mokokchung district of Nagaland which is also the home of the Ao Nagas.
Moatsu Mong is a colorful festival and marks the completion of the sowing season. The pre-celebrations start with the cleaning of the local wells called the Tsübu and repairs and construction of houses by elders of the Putu Menden stretching over a week. Moatsu Mong is a time for relaxation after the toil and labor of the sowing process; clearing jungles, tilling fields and preparing for sowing, and the sowing of seeds. And hence the Moatsu Mong celebrations are full of zeal, fun, and frolic. The best rice beer is brewed and served along with the best of the meat as part of the celebrations. Womenfolk wear the best of the traditional clothes and jewelry and sing and dance with the menfolk. The menfolk dressed in traditional gear perform traditional warrior dances. Traditional love songs and folks praising the Ao villages are sung during the Moatsu celebrations and the vigorous folk dances add an altogether appeal and thrill of the 3 day celebrations of this colorful festival.
Moatsu Mong is also a time when the wise old men of the village forecast the year ahead and seek blessings. The Sangpangtu is the symbolic aspect of the Moatsu Mong where a huge bonfire is lit and men and women gather and sit around the fire. This is also a time for young Ao men and women to mingle and meet. Traditional love songs are sung and dances are also performed to please the Almighty. Moatsu Mong is really a vibrant and colorful festival of Nagaland and simply captivating!
photo credit: rajkumar1220