The Moatsu festival is majorly celebrated by the Ao tribe of Nagaland in the hope of a good harvest. The tribals observe this festival after sowing the seeds in the fields after removing any kind of unnecessary greenery or weeds along with setting up their houses and completing all the re-construction work.
Commemorated at the beginning of May, the Moatsu festival stretches for the whole first week of the month. During the celebrations, a traditional fire is lit around which the villagers gather together for enjoying and merry-making.
1. The Beginning of Festivities. As the announcement of the festival is made, the very first thing that the villagers do is close the gates of their village. This is done to make sure that no outsider is a part of the Moatsu festival. This shows that the tribals like to keep their festivals and other affairs very private to them.
2. Competitions and Dance Performances. A part of the festival also sees the elderly indulging in several competitions along with the youth. The senior men compete with their younger counterparts in making the best rice beer. On the other hand, the womenfolk compete with each other in preparing the best traditional attire for their people. Not just that, people also participate in traditional dance forms as well as sing songs and make merry.
3. Sangpangtu. This ritual or tradition is the main highlight of the Moatsu Festival. As per the custom, a big fire is lit much similar to that of Holika Dahan. The tribesmen and women gather around it and sing songs, indulge in performing arts, dance around making the best of those joyful moments. Wine is served in great quantities among the villagers.
4. Sacrifice and other Rituals. After lighting the fire, the villagers bring forth their pigs and cows and sacrifice them to please the supreme god. Prayers then follow the slaughter for the upcoming harvest. After all of this, the witch doctor of the village also joins the festivities and predicts if the harvest will be a good one or not. Earlier in the day, a young couple who had recently hit puberty was made to fornicate in front of the whole village crowd. This unusual ritual symbolically depicted the fertility of the soil thus ensuring a good harvest. However, it isn’t practised in the current times, the reason being the majority of the Christian population in the region.
To reach Mokokchung, you will need to cover a total distance of about 2,298, 3,141, 1,399, 3,345 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check out the following details on how you can reach here.
By Air. Deboard at the Jorhat Airport (JRH) which is located about 110 km away. Jorhat Airport doesn’t have excellent flight connectivity with all the prominent Indian cities thus, it would be best to take connecting flights from cities like Guwahati and Kolkata to reach here. After deboarding at the airport, you can book a taxi to reach your destination.
By Train. If travelling by train, then deboard at the Mariani train station in Assam located 80-85 km away. This station is fairly well-connected to the local nearby regions by trains. After deboarding at the station, you will need to cover the remaining distance by public transport.
By Road. You can also consider travelling to Mokokchung by well-maintained network of roadways and national highways. If residing in the nearby regions, it would be best to board a cab or take state-run/privately run buses to reach here as per your budget. If you prefer to travel at your own pace, then consider self-driving here.
01 May 2021 - 07 May 2021
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