Nagaland, a state in Northeast India, is known for its rich culture and traditions. One of the most significant festivals celebrated in Nagaland is Moatsu. This festival is celebrated by the Ao tribe, who inhabit the Mokokchung district of Nagaland. Moatsu is a festival that celebrates the end of the sowing season, and the onset of the summer harvest season.
Moatsu is celebrated every year from May 1-3, and is a time for people to come together, to feast, and to celebrate. The festival is a celebration of the fertility of the soil, and the prosperity that comes with a successful harvest. Families and communities come together to prepare traditional food and drink. Traditional dances are performed, and songs are sung to celebrate the traditions and culture of the Ao tribe.
The festival begins with the selection of the Moatsu King and Queen. The chosen king and queen are believed to be blessed by the gods, and their only job during the festival is to lead the community in prayer and to offer sacrifices to the gods. On the first day of the festival, all the villagers gather in the central courtyard to offer prayers to the gods for a bountiful harvest.
On the second day of the festival, traditional games and sports are organized, which mark the beginning of the harvest season. Some of the traditional games include tug-of-war, wrestling, archery, and javelin throw. The highlight of the event is the fire-making contest, where contestants compete to see who can start a fire the fastest using traditional methods.
The final day of the festival is dedicated to feasting, singing, and dancing. Villagers dress up in traditional attire, and they sing and dance to traditional songs and music. Traditional food and drink, including rice beer, pork, and bamboo shoots, are prepared and shared among the villagers.
Moatsu is a time when the Ao tribe comes together to celebrate their culture, traditions, and to welcome the onset of the harvest season. It is a time of joy and celebration, a time to forget one’s worries and to embrace the blessings that come with a successful harvest. The festival reflects the harmony and unity of the Ao people, and is a tribute to their rich cultural heritage.