Moatsü festival is celebrated in May every year by the Ao people of Nagaland, India. The Aos observe Moatsü Mong after the sowing is done. The festival provides them a period of recreation and entertainment after the stressful work of clearing fields, burning jungles, sowing seeds, cleaning up the Tsubu (wells) and repairs & construction of houses by elders, stretching over a week.
The Moatsü festival is marked by peppy songs and dances. The whole festival full of merry making and fun is observed for three days. The best rice beer is brewed and served along with the best of the meat as part of the celebrations. The women weave the best of traditional garments and adorn themselves with all their finery. They join the men in dancing, eating and drinking and composing warrior songs. The older men encourage the young people to be bold and heroic to defend and protect them from enemies. The menfolk dressed in traditional gear perform traditional warrior dances.
The Aos invite delegates from the neighbouring villages (the "Anchas") and states and exchange gifts to renew traditional friendship. This helps in strengthening traditional bonds. 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 view of Naga lifestyle. Everyone is relaxed for a week, refreshes their body, mind and soul to take up future tasks, and challenges in the year ahead.
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