- Moatsu Festival is celebrated by the Ao Nagas tribe of Nagaland.
- The Ao Nagas tribe mainly belongs to Mokokchung District of Nagaland. The Ao community resides in Tsula and Tsurang Valley of Mokokchung district.
- Mokokchung is located at an elevation of 1325 metres above sea level. The district is regarded as the intellectual and cultural capital of Nagaland
- The word Moatsu is derived from two words, ‘Mo’ means paddy and ‘atsu’ means fence.
- Moatsu festival is celebrated for three days in May every year. It is celebrated from May 1 to 3.
- The celebrations of the Moatsu festival begin after the sowing of the crops. The entire village is cleaned and decorated and white-washed before the festivities.
- Before the festival, the members of Putu Menden look after the construction and repairing works of the entire village.
- The cleaning of Tsubu (wells) is also an essential work that is done before the festivals.
- Sangpangtu is one of the auspicious functions of this festival.
- During Sangpangtu, a big fire is lit, and the members of the community sit around it in their traditional attires.
- The community members sing folk songs and celebrate the festival with folk dances.
- The women each day after the festival rituals are completed, serve the wine and meat to the festival attendees.
- On the last day of the celebration, village astrology readers tell the fortune of the village and the villagers for the rest of the year. The readings are made as per the celebration scale of the Moatsu festival.
- The Moatsu festival is a celebration of harmony, new beginnings, prosperity and brotherhood.
Now that you know about the historical beliefs and people’s sentiments about the famous Moatsu Festival of Nagaland, we know you are all excited to go there. Let’s look at the ways we can reach the holy place.
- Nagaland is well connected to all primary states and national highways. The town is connected with Kohima to Jhanji through NH61.
- The roads are well built and give you a glimpse of natural beauty, so it is quite an adventure to travel via bus.
- The easiest way to reach Mokokchung by bus is to take an overnight bus from Guwahati and Jorhat.
- Various states offer one-stop buses to Nagaland. For instance, you can take a bus from Agra, and it will take you to Dimapur.
- Dimapur is the nearest and one of the most active bus stands of Nagaland and it is 90kms away from Mokokchung.
- Many private tours and travel companies also offer buses to Mokokchung along with numerous government bus options.
- The nearest railway station to Mokokchung is Mariani in Assam.
- Mariani is located 85kms away from the Mokokchung town.
- The trains from all major cities of India are connected with Mariani railways. You can easily take a cab service to Mokokchung.
- The direct trains are available from Delhi, Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Naharlagun.
- There is no airport in Mokokchung town. The nearest airport is Jorhat Airport that is 57kms away from Mokokchung.
- The airport is relatively small and only entertains flights from Guwahati and Kolkata.
- You can take a flight to Guwahati or Kolkata from various parts of the country and many international destinations.
- Other nearby airports are Dimapur, North Lakhimpur Airport and Dibrugarh Airport.
Nagaland offers a wide range of food varieties, and the best part is, all the delicacies are delicious. So let’s go and taste the flavors of Nagaland.
The Moatsu festival lasts for three days, and in these three days, you have a lot of authentic items to taste. There are few food items that the members of the Ao tribe make during this festival only.
- Anishi: It is a patty type dish made by fermented and dried taro leaves. The dish is prepared under the wood smoke, and it is black in colour. Anishi is cooked with dry meat like pork. The dish is sour and is served with dry meat for ₹150-200.
- Fermented Dry Fish Curry: The fermented dry fish is quite popular in the food culture of North-East. The dry fish is added into the curry or chutney (sauce) to give a strong smell and taste. You can also eat these dried fishes after just frying with salt and pepper. These dried fishes are available from ₹50-70.
- Zutho: Zutho is the famous beer from Nagaland made with fermented rice. After the Sangpangtu, Zutho is distributed with meat by the women of the Ao community. You can get this for ₹100-170.
The foods of Nagaland are a delight to our taste buds. Therefore, dishes served by authentic chefs of food stores are a treat. You must visit following restaurants in Mokokchung:
Address: Shop No 58, 1st Floor MMC Complex, Mokokchung - 798601
Famous Dish: Smoked Pork Rice
Budget: ₹200-400 for two people
Timings: 09:30 A.M. to 05:30 P.M.
Address: Imnameren Road, Mokokchung - 798601
Famous Dish: Dry Fish Momos
Budget: ₹500-1000 for two people
Timings: 09:00 A.M. to 05:30 P.M.
Address: Arkong, Mokokchung - 798601
Famous Dish: Pork and Kimchi Salad
Budget: ₹500-1000 for two people
Timings: 09:00 A.M. to 08:00 P.M.
LUXURIOUS FINE DINE
There are no lavish or 5-star restaurants in Mokokchung so, if you want luxurious treatment in fine dining, then you will have to shift to another corner of the city. Here are best restaurants of Nagaland:
Address: Jail Colony, Kohima - 797001
Famous Dish: Grilled chicken with sticky rice
Budget: ₹1200-1400 for two people
Timings: 09:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Address: 6th Mile Nbda Nbda 6th Mile, Dimapur 797112
Famous Dish: Rice cooked in bamboo
Budget: ₹1800-2300 for two people
Timings: 11:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M.
Address: Nh 6, Midland Opposite Oking Hospital, Kohima 797001
Famous Dish: Nepalese Cuisine
Budget: ₹1700-2000 for two people
Timings: 09:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M.
As the festival is celebrated by the members of the Ao tribe, there are no specific requirements done for the outsiders. Therefore, you can check out following nearby stays:
Address: Near Pentecostal Church, S. E. Colony Road, Alongmen Ward, Tongdentsuyong Ward.
Price Range: ₹1000 per night
Address: D.C Hill, Sangtemla Ward, Mokokchung.
Price Range: ₹1100 per night
Address: Mokokchung, Nagaland - 798601
Price Range: ₹900 per night
Address: Near IMCH (Imkongliba Memorial Civil Hospital).
Price Range: ₹700 per night
Address: Above Nettech Computers, Arkong ward, Main Road, Mukokchung.
Price Range: ₹1250 per night
Facility: 3-star Hotel
Address: Centre town of Mokokchung
Price Range: ₹4000 per night
Facility: 3-star Hotel
Address: KF Groups, Mission Chariali, Tezpur, Assam - 784001
Price Range: ₹2500 per night
Facility: 4-star Hotel
Address: Nichugard, 7th Mile, Dimapur, Nagaland - 797103.
Price Range: ₹5040 per night
We have curated a list of must-try things to do during the Moatsu Festival that can double the joy of your journey.
- Smoked Pork in Akhuni
- Fish in Bamboo
- Beginning of the ceremonies
- The natives of Ao community
- Sangpangtu ceremony
- The cleaning and construction work before the festivals
- Folk Dances
- Tribal dance
- Wine and meat distribution
- Village forecast reading
- Natural Beauty of the town