Imphal: A year in Manipur represents a cycle of festivals and to the people of the state, it is a symbol of their cultural, social and religious aspirations. If you’re someone who wish to explore the rich heritage and culture of this Northeast state once the COVID-19 aka coronavirus crisis is over, then you must visit it during one of the following festivals:
Considered as one of the biggest and most vibrant state-level festivals, Sangai Festival is an annual event celebrated in the month of November. Since its inception in 2010, the festival has evolved as a significant platform to showcase the state’s indigenous art and culture. One can enjoy spectacular performances of dance, music and sports of Manipur and exhibitions of local handicraft and food.
Lui Ngai Ni Festival
Lui Ngai Ni is the seed-sowing festival celebrated by the tribes of Manipur and heralds the season of seed sowing for the Nagas. It is one of the main festivals of Manipur and is celebrated with much fervour and zeal. The name — Lui-Ngai-Ni — is taken from three different languages of Naga tribes but all of them mean the same thing — sowing of seeds. The tribal people pay homage to the god of crops for a good harvest by dancing and singing. The annual festival is celebrated on February 14-15 every year.
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 among 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 November 1 every year.
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 the belief that it will enable them to rise to greater heights in their worldly life.
Shirui Lily Festival
The state-level festival, Shirui Lily Festival, is celebrated in the month of May or June to promote the endangered Shirui Lily, the state flower which is found only in the Shirui Peak of Ukhrul district. The festival showcases one of the most popular rock fests, ShiRock, featurig some well-known rock bands from across the world. The festival also showcases the rich heritage and culture of the Tangkhul community inhabiting the hill district.