Colorful Festivals of Manipur

Apart from Assam, another sparkling jewel in the tourism sector of northeastern India is Manipur. In fact, like Assam, it also has a rich heritage and culture that is content to its people only. Rightly translated as the jeweled land, Manipur is blessed with tranquil natural beauty and magnificence. Enclosed by Mizoram in the south, Nagaland in the north, Cachar district of Assam in the west and Upper Myanmar in the east, this state represents an unique demographics and diverse culture altogether. In fact, it is often named as the land of festivals, merriment and fun which remains continues throughout the year. These festivals and celebration represent the rich colorful culture and religious aspirations of people of Manipur (Manipuris). Read on to get more familiar with the popular festivals of Manipur.

Yaoshang (Festival of Manipur Hindus)

Yaoshang is one of the most important Hindu festivals in Manipur. It is an entire five day celebration which begins from the full moon day of Hindu month Phalguna (February / March). Besides the colorful charm and festivity, Thabal Chongba dance is a unique highlight of this festival. Thabal Chongba is a special kind of Manipuri folk dance performed by boys and girls holding hands together while dancing and singing in a circular formation.

KUT – Festival of Kuki-Chin-Mizo

Annually celebrated on November 1, this colorful autumn festival is celebrated by the various tribes of Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of Manipur. The festival has been given with different names such as, Chavang Kut or Khodou at different places by different tribes. Most importantly, the main motive of this festival is ‘a thanks giving feast’ which is marked by happy songs and dances in the honor of the giver (tribe / village) of a plentiful harvest.

Gang-Ngai – Festival of Kabui Nagas

Gang-Ngai is another five day long festival celebrated by the Kabui Naga tribe of Manipur. It is celebrated during the month of December / January with first day the omen taking ceremony on the first day, while, the remaining four days are celebrated normally with common feast, following dances of old men / women, exchange of farewell gifts and of dances of boys and girls in tribal attire.

Kang Festival – The Rath Yatra of Manipur

Another very special Hindu festival of Manipur, Kang festival is quite alike to that of Rath Yatra to the people of Odisha. Here, it is a ten days long commemoration conducted in the month of July. In this festival, Lord Jagannath leaves His abode (temple) in a car referred to as the ‘Kang’ which is pulled by devotees and the pilgrims. This grand convoy is accompanied with holy music of bells, drums, gongs, nahal and conch coupled with folk dancers. Along with that, the devotees also perform Kirtan, referred to as ‘Khubakisei’ and community feasts in the evenings.

Cheiraoba- The Manipur New Year

Cheiraoba festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of New Year for Manipuris (people of Manipur). Thus, it is celebrated with massive festivity and fervor during the month of April. The party of New Year begins with the offering of specially made festive dishes to various deities. Another highlight of this festival is the villagers climbing the close by hill tops representing and hoping that this act will enable them to get to greater heights in their lives.

Apart from these, Ningol Chak-Kouba, Lui-Ngai-Ni (a seed-sowing festival), Ramjan ID, Heikru Hitongba (boat race festival) and Chumpha (the after harvest festival of Tangkhul Nagas) are some of other famous and colorful festivals celebrated by people of Manipur.

Author Bio: This blog post is written by a travel writer working for Tripmos.com, which is one of India’s leading online travel companies offering best deals on holiday packages in India and tour & travel in India. You can follow TripMos on Facebook, and Google+

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