"MOATSÜ MONG"
(The Festival of Ao Tribe)

The  Aos observe Moatsü Mong after the sowing is done and the mother earth begins to show the sign of fertility. It provides the Aos the period of recreation after the strenuous job which goes into clearing fields, burning jungles and sowing seeds, cleaning up the Tsübu (Wells) and repairs and construction of houses by elders of the Putu Menden stretching over a week. The festivals marked by vigorous songs and dances, merrymaking and fun, is now observed only for three days from 1 to 3 May.

The natural customary practice of the forefathers  was competing in making the best rice-bear and rearing the best possible pigs and cow to be slaughtered during the festival. 

 The womenfolk would weave the best of traditional garments and adorn themselves with all their fineries. They would join the men folk in dancing eating and drinking and composing warrior songs.Singing songs in praise of the lovers and the village as a whole was done and the older men folk would encourage the young people to be bold and heroic to defend and protect them from enemies as head-hunting was practiced during the forefathers time.

During this festival one of the symbolic celebrations is SANGPANGTU where a big fire is lid and women and men sit around it. The best women serve the best wine and meat and make merry. Forecast is made by the righteous men who live by the guidance of the Almighty to see whether good or evil days are awaiting the people. 

TSÜNGREM MONG

Aos has another festival called  Tsüngrem Mong. It is celebrated in the eve of the harvest. However, now a days the Aos celebrate this festival from 1 to 3 August.

Prior to the start of the festival the Village will declare the Süngküm (Village Gate) closed and free entry or exit is restricted and regulated for people who do not belong to that particular village.

Parties of old and young wearing their colourful costumes sing songs and perform dances to express their gratitude to the supreme Power fro helping the crops to grow well. They provide the best offerings to the supreme Power for abundant blessings

These festivals provide opportunities to the budding generations and village stalwart to demonstrate their intellectual skill and physical powers.

A handful of young men hold the stage and tell amusing stories about their elders. Peals of laughter greet them and young and old jump in excitement.

These festivals are usually rounded off by a tug of war between men and women. Stories are galore that men lose to please their womenfolk. But none has refuted the argument that attracted by charm of their opponents, absorbed by their sweet songs and regaled by their very presence men lose gracefully.

The only defense offered is that men have to pull uphill and the women downhill. Whatever the spirit behind this sport it is a treat to see and an honour to participate.

 

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