Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Manipur

Festivals


Yaosang

Yaosang, the Holi festival is celebrated on the full moon of Lamda (Feb/March). It lasts for six days. One and all in the valley celebrate it. Young boys and girls take active part in this festival. The bamboo huts, 'Yaosangs', are constructed on the roadside. An  idol of Chaitanya is placed in the hut by a Brahmin. Puja is offered to the idol. Kirtans and recitations from the holy books are chanted. The idol is removed from the hut and the hut is set on fire. The shouts of 'Hari-Bola' and 'He Hari' are exchanged while the hut is burning. The burnt embers are considered to be very auspicious. Therefore, the ash is collected and used to mark the foreheads of the worshippers and the entrance of the houses. The same procedure is performed in the Mandapas of some temples. The entire valley reflects a festive look during the days of Holi. The real festive show of Holi is celebrated in Govindajee temple. In the Mandapa portion of the temple there are two wells which are kept covered with wooden planks on other days. During the days of Holi these wells are filled with water and the colour powder is mixed, then it is sprayed in playing Holi. Men and women visit the temple Mandapa and play Holi. The music is also played. Songs are sung in praise of Lord Krishna.

Cheiraoba

Cheiraoba is the new year festival of Manipur celebrated on the first day of the month Sajibu (March- April).  The domestic deity, Sanamahi, is worshipped in each house. An annual festival is also arranged in the temple of Sanamahi. People wear new clothes and buy new utensils. The festival is also related with the Chahitaba. On this day the 'Chahitaba' is selected by Maibas after comparing the horoscopes. Chahitaba is the man who gives his name to the year, who bears all the sins of the people for the year, good or ill luck, influences the lick of the whole community.  Many people on this day also climb the hill called 'Cheiraching' where there is a small Siva shrine. The hill is near Imphal town.

Tribal Festivals

Manipur is home to 29 tribes and it celebrates a number of traditional festivals. Such events not only highlight the vibrant colors of the region, but also play an important role in strengthening bonds between different tribes.

'Enghah' is a festival celebrated during December for five days. The tribals enjoy with dance and drinks. 

Reenanai is celebrated during January for three days. The peculiarity of this festival is that men and women cook separately. The husband will not take the meal cooked by his wife. He will bring water himself and cook the meal himself and invite his friends for the feast. In February, they celebrate a festival in which the newly born child's ears are pierced. 

The festival 'Oodooeeyung' is celebrated for clearing the jungles for cultivation. It is celebrated towards March when the field is to be made ready for the next crop. Juice of ginger is taken on this day. 

The Kukis celebrate several kuts in tune with the changing seasons of the year. The spring festival called Taptaal Kut or Chapthar Kut is celebrated with great pomp and show during Dec-Feb annually. Pigs, hens, goats etc are contributed and a community feast and some games are arranged. 

Mimkut is celebrated in Aug/Sep after harvest, in commemoration of those who are dead. A feast is arranged in their honour. 

Pawl Khut is the harvest festival and is celebrated when the entire village is free from the field work. The villagers select a place and all contribute rice, pig, hen, egg and rice beer and a community feast is arranged. All eat, drink and dance together. 

These festivals are held at intervals during the year when people are in need of amusement. The central aim of these festivals is to create unity among the tribals. The tribals should retain these festivals as these are the cultural landmarks.

 

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