India is rich in heritage, cultures, traditions, diversity and whatnot. Numerous states and territories of the South Asian nation back the vast diversity. One of the locations depicting the country's unique culture is Manipur. Manipur means “The Land of Gems”. It is the capital of Imphal and is located to the North East of the Indian Subcontinent.
Like other states of the country, Manipur has festivals and occasions that delight locals and tourists alike. Therefore, if you find yourself in Manipur, India, do witness these magical moments dedicated to new harvests and prosperous life. Here are some top festivals in Manipur!
The best way to explore a place is by visiting its tourist spots and participating in its festivals. Thankfully, Manipur has both of them. Hence, don’t forget to check out this famous festival of Manipur.
The inception of the new year is celebrated in diverse forms nationwide. The festival that marks the beginning of the new year in Manipur is Cheiraoba. Though the festival's name is different, its way of celebration and customs aligns with the ways of the other state.
It is celebrated on the first day of the Sajibu month, on the 13th or 14th of April. There is a vital aspect of this festival in Manipur. Today, people climb to the nearest hill tops, believing it will enable them to rise higher. They dress in traditional attires, visit their friends and relatives, and offer gifts. Dishes like Ooti, Pakora, Eromba, etc., blend perfectly with the occasion.
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Yes, Yaoshang is celebrated with similar energy and customs as Holi. If you are in Manipur during the February-March period, you can see this festival being celebrated there. It is a 5-day festival that begins on the full moon day of Phalguna month. So, you will have a lot of time to enjoy it.
Everyone from the young to the old participates and celebrates it with music and dance. People throw dry and wet colours at each other. There is a unique dance that is an attraction named the Thabal Chongba dance. People do this by setting a hut on fire to offer their devotion. Children go to various households to get donations and throw parties and feasts.
As its name suggests, the Kut festival is celebrated in Manipur to thank god for the great and successful harvest season. The prosperous occasion happens in November when the harvest season ends. The festival is also known as Chavang-Kut or Khodou. Chavang signifies Autumn, and Kut stands for harvest.
During the festivity, people thank god by singing and dancing with each other. On top of that, various games and feasts are served to the people. In the ancient days, Kut was just a tradition, but it has evolved into one of the major festivals of the state. Kuki, Chin, and Mizo tribes celebrate it.
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The Manipur Festival list is long, and this is the prime one. Why? The Kang festival is a rath yatra that is celebrated for 10 days. Celebrated by the Meitei tribe, the theme of the Kang Rath Yatra is adopted from the festival of Puri, Odisha. It is celebrated in the Govindjee temple in Manipur. During the period, the idols of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra are taken in the Kang (rath), which numerous devotees pull.
This is done to honour Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra. Along with enthusiastically pulling the rath, devotees also play bells, nahal, and gong. At the end of the day, community feasts are organised for all.
If you are an art and culture enthusiast, do visit Manipur in November to celebrate the Sangai festival. Sangai is a lively festival in Manipur that has numerous vital events and attractions. First of all, let’s talk about history. The festival saw its first celebration in 2010, and since then, the practice has continued to showcase the unique culture and art of the northeastern state.
The festival showcases numerous types of dances, music, sports, and exhibitions of Manipur. Further, you can also enjoy local directors' movies and short films. The film festival is a part of the Sangai festival and is organised by MSFDS and Film Forum Manipur.
Every state uniquely celebrates its harvest, including Manipur. The famous festival of Manipur harvest is known as Chumpha. The vibrant festival is celebrated for seven days in a row after the harvest by the Tanghul Nagas community. Like other festivals, scrumptious food, cultural events, dances, and social gatherings are integral to the celebrations.
People of the state meet, greet, and bestow gifts to each other. Women and men dress up in their traditional attires, Kashans and Machung. On top of this, traditional foods like Ngari, pork, rice, and fermented vegetables are served. On the seventh day of the festival, people carry out a huge parade.