India has a rich history, diverse cultures, and traditions. The South Asian nation’s numerous states and territories support its enormous diversity. Manipur is one of the places that exemplifies the nation’s distinctive culture. “The Land of Gems” is what Manipur means. It is situated in the northeast of the Indian Subcontinent and serves as Imphal’s capital. And the list of famous Festivals of Manipur is quite long!
Manipur, like other states in the nation, celebrates holidays and other special occasions that appeal to both residents and visitors. So, if you ever find yourself in Manipur, India, make sure to take in these magical occasions honoring fresh harvests and prosperous life. Here is the list of famous festivals in Manipur!
1. Sangai festival
Come to Manipur in November to experience the Sangai festival if you enjoy art and culture. Manipur’s Sangai festival is a vibrant occasion with many noteworthy activities and sights. Let’s start by discussing history.
Since the first festival was held in 2010, the tradition has continued to highlight the distinctive culture and art of the northeastern state.
The event features a wide variety of Manipuri dances, music, sports, and displays. Additionally, you can watch films and shorts directed by local filmmakers. The film festival, which is a component of the Sangai festival, is run by Film Forum Manipur.
2. Kut Festival
The Kut festival, as its name suggests, is observed in Manipur to give thanks to god for the excellent and prosperous harvest season. When the harvest season concludes in November, a happy celebration takes place. Additionally known as Chavang-Kut or Khodou, the celebration. Autumn is denoted by Chavang, and harvest is denoted by Kut.
During the celebration, people sing and dance together in thanks to God. On top of that, the populace is served a variety of games and feasts. Kut was once merely a custom, but it has now grown to become one of the state’s most important events. Tribes from the Kuki, Chin, and Mizo celebrate it.
3. Cheiraoba Festival
There are numerous methods to celebrate the beginning of the new year across the nation. In Manipur, the new year is ushered in with a festival called Cheiraoba. And it is one of the most famous Festivals of Manipur. The celebration style and customs of the holiday are in accordance with those of the other state, despite the fact that it goes by a different name.
On April 13 or 14, the first day of the Sajibu month, it is observed. There is a key element to this occasion in Manipur. Today, people attempt to reach higher altitudes by ascending the adjacent hills. They offer gifts, visit their friends and family, and dress traditionally. Foods like ooti, pakora, eromba, and others go perfectly with the scene.
4. Heirku Hindongba
Manipur’s primary celebration, the Heirku Hindongba, is unique. On the eleventh day of the Langbal month, it is observed. The festival’s main event is a thrilling boat race that takes place on a canal near Bijoy Govinda. The local youth take part in this boat race, and a large number of onlookers cheer them on.
The boats are meticulously cleaned with holy shlokas before the main festival. Garlands are also used to embellish them. Tents are built around the canals so that fans can watch the exciting action. Brahmins present the deities with silver and gold before the race starts.
5. Cheiraoba Festival
Everywhere in the country, there are many ways to mark the start of the new year. Cheiraoba is the celebration that ushers in the new year in Manipur. Even if the holiday has a different name, its celebration style and traditions are in line with those of the other state.
It is observed on April 13 or 14, the first day of the Sajibu month. This event in Manipur has a crucial component. People today climb to the tops of the nearby hills with the hope of attaining greater heights. They visit their friends and family, dress in traditional garb, and give gifts. Ooti, Pakora, Eromba, and other dishes go wonderfully with the setting.
Similar enthusiasm and traditions are used to celebrate Yaoshang like Holi. During the months of February and March, you can witness this event being celebrated in Manipur. The event lasts for five days and starts on the full moon day of the Phalguna month. You will therefore have plenty of time to enjoy it.
Everyone, young and old, participates and dances and sings to celebrate it. Dry and moist colors are thrown at one another. The Thabal Chongba dance is a distinctive dance that is a popular attraction. In order to show their commitment, people do this by lighting a hut on fire. Children visit different homes to collect donations and arrange feasts and gatherings.
7. Kang Festival
This is the other most famous Festivals of Manipur on the long list. Why? A rath yatra called the Kang festival lasts for ten days. The Kang Rath Yatra, which is observed by the Meitei tribe, borrows its motif from the Puri Festival in Odisha. It is observed in Manipur’s Govindjee Temple. The idols of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra, and his brother Balabhadra are pulled in the Kang (rath) by a large number of devotees during this time.
To worship Jagannatha, Balarama, and Subhadra, is done. Devotees joyfully pull the rath and also play the bells, nahal, and gong. At the end of the day, everyone is invited to communal feasts.
8. Gang Ngai
In Manipur, Gang Ngai is a festival of Kabui Naga customs and traditions. The entire event lasts for five days, with the first day dedicated to paying tribute to their ancestors. The following four days will feature a mouthwatering spread, dancing, singing, and a variety of programs. They use their traditional instruments to perform melodic music. Even presents are given and received within the tribe.
Every state, including Manipur, celebrates its harvest distinctively. Chumpha is the name of the celebrated harvest festival in Manipur. The Tanghul Nagas group celebrates the colorful event for seven straight days following harvest. Like other Festivals of Manipur, the celebrations include delicious cuisine, cultural activities, dances, and social gatherings.
State residents interact, exchange greetings, and give gifts to one another. Both men and women dress in their traditional Kashans and Machung outfits. Additional typical fare includes Ngari, pig, rice, and fermented vegetables. A sizable parade is put on on the festival’s seventh day.
Planning to Visit!
If you appreciate participating in the various famous Festivals of Manipur and value the cultural uniqueness of the country, you must travel to the northeast to witness its true diversity. Plan a vacation to the Northeast now to visit Manipur and all the other seven sisters. Additionally, be sure to go to at least one of the festivals.