Yaoshang Festival Manipur
In major parts of the country, the festival of colors in esteemed as Holi, however, in Manipur, it is Yaoshang. Observed for the continuous five days, the festival of Yaoshang is celebrated with full exuberant and is counted amongst the top festivals of Manipur. However, the main attraction of the beautiful of Yaoshang is the traditional Thabal Chongba dance. The word ‘Thabal Chongba’ stands for ‘Moonlight Dance’, and hence, it is performed during the night. Local delicacies are prepared during the festival and are shared with family and friends. As a part of the celebration, a hut is specially built to set on fire by the people during the night. Folk dancing and singing is the major part of this beautiful festival of Manipur.
Kang Rath Yatra Festival Manipur
Rath Yatra or locally known as Kang is one of the most sought-after festivals of Manipur. Kang or Kang Chingba is observed for consecutive eight days, this festival is basically the Manipur version of Rata Jatra festival celebrated in Puri. However, this popular festival in Manipur is celebrated mainly by the Meitei community. Throughout these ten days, the festival celebrates the journey of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra and the brother Balabhadra. During the Kang festival, the deities leave their abode and the idols all the three deities are drawn in the Rath of Lord Jagannath. The festival of Kang celebrated through Rath Yatra, which is similar to that of Puri. In the Rath Yatra, the idols of Lord Jagannath along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra are placed on a cart which is pulled by thousands of pilgrims. The festival of Kang Chingba is celebrated in the Manipuri lunar month, which falls between June and July.
Cheiraoba Festival Manipur
Cheiraoba is a popular festival that holds a great significance in the hearts of the locals. The festival of Cheiraoba is mainly celebrated by the Meiteis (a major tribal community of Manipur). With this festival, the new year of Manipur begins. During the festival, a joint family meal is organized by the locals. Local deity is worshipped during the festival and to offer their prayers, people climb to the top of the nearby hills. Another ritual to pay homage to the deity is that people prepare the traditional food and offer them to the deity at the entrance gate of their homes. The festival of Cheiraoba is observed on the first lunar day of Sajibu month, which is March/April.
Kut Festival Manipur
Kut festival or Chavang Kut is one of the most celebrated festivals of Manipur. Celebrated by the tribes of Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of Manipur, Chavang Kut is a festival which is observed with so much zeal and joyousness. The festival is observed to mark the end of the harvesting season and also to thank deities for a good harvest season. Therefore, the festival is named Chavang Kut; Chavang stands for ‘autumn’ and Kut mean ‘harvest’.
Every year the State of Manipur celebrates the “Manipur Sangai Festival” from 21st to 30th November. The ‘Festival’ is named after the State animal, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur. It started in the year 2010 and has grown over the years into a big platform for Manipur to showcase its rich tradition and culture to the world. The festival is labelled as the grandest festival of the State today and helps promote Manipur as a world class tourism destination. Every edition of the festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of Arts & Culture, Handloom, Handicrafts, Indigenous Sports, Cuisine, Music and Adventure sports of the state etc.
Gan Ngai Festival Manipur
Of all the tribes in Manipur, Kabui Nagas is one of the most eminent tribal community in Manipur. Gang Ngai Festival is one of their important festival which is celebrated with much love and ardour. The festival of Gang-Ngai is a synonym of dance, fest, music and spiritual rituals. The term Gang Ngai stands for the festival of winter and is also touted as Chakan Gaan-Ngai. Celebrated for a straight five days, this exuberant festival in Manipur is observed in various parts of the state.
Gang Ngai festival is celebrated to pay homage to the ancestors of the people of Kabui Nagas community. The graves of the ancestors are also embellished with flowers. The Gang Ngai festival is celebrated in the month of December/January. It is observed for a whole long period of five days.
Orange Festival is a state level festivl celebrated every year in Tamenglong District in the first or second week of December every year with great fervour by the general public of Manipur. This vibrant and colourful festival is a feast for lovers of oranges as different varieties of the fruits and handicrafts are displayed in abundance for sale. The main objective of the festival is to promote the objectives and interests of the orange growers in the district which is the only suitable location to grow in large scale in Manipur.
The festival has been organised and started since 2001 with the initiative of Shri. K Moses Chalai, the then Deputy Commissioner of Tamenglong and continues till today in a befitting manner by organising at the District Level by collecting oranges from different parts of Tamenglong district. In 2013, the then Governor of Manipur declared the 9th of December every year as the day of the Orange Festival. Accordingly, the Orange Festival 2014 was celebrated at Tamenglong District headquarter on 9th December 2014.
The festival featured demonstrations of the age-old traditions and culture of the inhabitants of the district of Ukhrul. The festival was organized during the time October keeping in mind the peak blooming season of the flower. Live music, cultural shows, beauty pageants, exhibits, folk songs, traditional dances and indigenous games and sports competitions like the Shirui Lily Grand Prix formed part of the celebration.
The festival attracted visitors from across India as well as other countries while helping spread awareness about the endangered Shirui Lily and promote the district of Ukhrul as a must-visit tourist destination in Manipur. Manipur Tourism recognizes the importance of Shirui Lily as the State Flower of Manipur and the event is a part of its efforts to develop and implement sustainable and responsible tourism in the State. The festival is spread over multiple venues.
Lui Ngai Ni Festival Manipur
The beautiful tribe of Naga has numerous festivals that are celebrated at places wherever this ethnic group is residing. On the list of those numerous popular Naga festivals, Lui-Ngai-Ni is a popular name. Observed by the Naga clan of Manipur, Lui-Ngai-Ni is known as the seed-sowing festival. Every year, this festival is celebrated towards the beginning of the spring season with so much zeal and ardour. The festival commemorates the season of seed sowing and is also embarks the beginning of the new year for the people of Naga clan. On a whole, the festival of Lui-Ngai-Ni signifies peace, love and unity amongst the people of Naga clans from various regions. Every year, the festival of Lui-Ngai-Ni is celebrated towards the beginning of spring season, and hence, is observed on 14-15 February. With the festival, the new year of Manipuri clan also starts.
The state-level pineapple festival-cum-sellers and buyers meet and youth festival is held in Imphal East district. The sellers and buyers meet, which is a part of the festival, is an opportunity in the right direction. These festivals not only enhance sale and production of horticulture products but also encourage the sense of competition among farmers.
MANIPURI CLASSICAL DANCE, MANIPUR
The Manipuri Dance form is one of the top ten major classical traditional dances of the Indian culture. As the name suggests the Manipur dance form is developed in the north eastern provinces of India like Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam and the main epicentre being the verdant Indian state of Manipur. The neighbouring country of India, Myanmar also has a deep root of Manipuri dance. The Manipuri Dance is mainly developed keeping in mind the Rasleela chapter of the life of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the supreme god, Lord Vishnu. Safe to say this dance form is the way of life and way of prayer for the Vaishnavism sect of Hinduism. The Rasleela chapter or the love affair chapter between Radha & Krishna aside, the dance is also a way to appease and worship the religious sects of Hinduism like Shaivism & Shaktism. Apart from these the local Meitei people of Manipur also perform this dance for local deity during Lai Harabo festival. The earliest instances of the mention of Manipuri Dance are found in the Sanskrit scriptures of Natya Shastra by Bharat Muni. However, the promotion of the modernised Manipuri dance started during the 18th century CE.