Festivals in Manipur...
A Taste of Manipur Festivals
Manipur is a land of festivals, merriment and mirth all the year round. A year in Manipur presents a cycle of festivals. Hardly a month passes without a festival or two. To the Manipuri's, festivals are the symbols of their cultural, social and religious aspirations which , besides removing the monotony of life by providing physical diversions, mental recreation and emotional outlet, it also helps them lead a better and fuller life....
1.Yaoshang (Holi)- Festival of Manipur Hindus:
Celebrated for five days commencing from the full moon day of Phalguna (February/March), Yaoshang is the premier festival of Manipur. The Thabal Chongba - a kind of Manipuri folk dance, where boys and girls hold hands together and sings and dance in a circle, is particularly associated with this festival. Yaoshang to Manipur is what Durga Puja is to Bengal, Diwali in north India and Bihu to Assam.
2.Kut-Festival of kuki-Chin-Mizo:
It is an autumn festival of the different tribes of Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of Manipur. The festival has been variously
described at different places amongst different tribes as Chavang Kut or Khodou etc. It is a happy occasion for the villagers whose food stock is bountiful after a year of hard labour. It is observed on the 1st November every year.
3.Gang-Ngai-Festival of Kabui Nagas:
Celebrated for five days in the month of December/January,
Gang-Ngai is an important festival of the Kabui Nagas. The festival opens with the omen taking ceremony on the first day and the rest of the days are associated with common feast, dances of old men women and of boys and girls, presentation of farewell gifts etc.
Pic:Gang Ngai Jagoi
4.Cheiraoba- The Manipur New Year:
During the festival special festive dishes are prepared which are first offered to various deities. Celebrated during the month of April, a part of the ritual entails villagers climbing the nearest hill tops in belief that it will enable them to rise to greater heights in their worldly life.
5.Kang - The Rath Yatra of Manipur:
One of the greatest festivals of the Hindus of Manipur,
this festival is celebrated for ten days in the month of July. Lord Jagannath leaves his temple in a car known as ‘Kang’ in Manipur pulled by devotees who vie with one another for this honour.
Celebrated in the month of September. Long narrow boats are used to accommodate a large number of rowers. Idol of Lord Vishnu is installed before the commencement of the race.
7.Ningol Chak-kouba- a social festival of Manipuris:
It is a remarkable social festival of the Meiteis. Married daughters of the family come to their parental house along with their children and enjoy sumptuous feast. It is a form of family reunion. It is celebrated on the second day of the new moon in the month of Hiyangei (November) as per Manipur Calender system.
It is a collective festival of the Nagas observed on the 15th day of February every year. This is a seed-sowing festival after which tribes belonging to the Naga group begin their cultivation. Social-gathering, songs, dances and rejoicing highlight the festivity. The annual festival also plays a great role in boosting the moral and strengthening the bond of Naga solidarity.
Pic:Lui Ngai Ni
9.Chumpha-Festival of Tangkhul Nagas:
Celebrated for seven days in the month of December,
the Chumpha festival is a great festival of the Tangkhul Nagas. The festival is held after harvest. The last three days are devoted to social gatherings and rejoicing. Unlike other festivals, here women play a special role in the festival.
10.Christmas- Festival of Christians:
Christmas is the greatest festival of all the Christians, observed for two days on December 24 and 25 with merriment, joy and gaiety