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Annual Festival of Manipur – ‘Mera Houchongba’ Celebrated in Imphal

Utkarsh Classes 28-10-2023
Annual Festival of Manipur – ‘Mera Houchongba’ Celebrated in Imphal Festival 8 min read

In Manipur, the annual festival‘Mera Houchongba’ was celebrated with great joy at Kangla, Imphal on 28 October 2023.

Objective of ‘Mera Houchongba’:

  • The ‘Mera Houchongba’ festival is organized every year to promote and strengthen the relations between the hill tribes of the state and the valley people.

Announcement of the Royal Palace of Manipur regarding festivals:

  • However, the Royal Palace of Manipur has announced that in view of the prevailing situation in the state, the festival will be scaled down with only the observance of religious rituals.

Utsav inaugurated at the erstwhile royal palace ‘Kangla’:

  • Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, along with the King of Manipur and Rajya Sabha member Leishemba Sanajaoba, inaugurated the festival at 'Kangla', the erstwhile royal palace of Manipur, on the morning of October 28. On this occasion he also organized a ritual ceremony there.
  • After this ritual ceremony, gifts were exchanged between the hill tribes and the valley people.

Major festivals celebrated in Manipur:

  • Gang-Ngai:- 

    • Gang-Ngai is an important festival of Kabui Nagas celebrated for five days in the month of December/January.
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni:- 

    • It is a mass festival of the Nagas which is organized every year on the 15th day of February.
    • It is a seed sowing festival after which the tribes belonging to the Naga group start their farming.
    • The annual festival also plays an important role in promoting morality and strengthening the bond of Naga solidarity.
  • Yaoshang/Yoshang:- 

    • Yaoshang is a major festival of Manipur, celebrated for five days starting from the full moon day of Phalgun (February/March).
    • Thabal Chongba, a type of Manipuri dance, where boys and girls sing and dance together in a circle holding hands, is particularly associated with this festival. 
    • Boys and girls and even old women go from door to door collecting donations and the money collected is spent on parties and feasts.
    • In fact, Yaosang/Yoshang is to Manipur what Durga Puja is to Bengal, Diwali to North India and Bihu to Assam.
  • Cheiraoba:- Manipuri New Year:- 

    • During the festival, people clean and decorate their houses and prepare special festive dishes which are first offered to various deities.
    • Part of this ritual, celebrated in the month of April, involves the villagers climbing to the top of the nearest hill with the belief that it will enable them to reach greater heights in their worldly lives.
  • Kang: Rath Yatra of Manipur:- 

    • One of the greatest festivals of the Hindus of Manipur, this festival is celebrated for ten days in the month of July. 
    • Lord Jagannath leaves his temple in a car known as "Kang" in Manipur, which is pulled by devotees and compete with each other for this honour.
  • Heikru Hitongba:- 

    • Heikru Hitongba is a boat race celebrated in the month of September. 
    • Long narrow boats are used to accommodate a large number of sailors. The idol of Lord Vishnu is installed before the start of the race.
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba:- 

    • A social festival of Manipuris. It is a notable social festival of the Meitei people.
    • In this festival, married daughters of the family come to their parents' house with their children and enjoy a sumptuous feast. It is a form of family reunion.
    • It is celebrated on the second day of the new moon in the month of Hiyangei (November) according to the Manipur calendar system.
  • Kut: Festival of Kuki-Chin-Mizo:- 

    • This festival is celebrated every year on 1 November. It is an autumn festival of various tribes of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of Manipur.
    • This festival has been described differently at different places among different tribes, like Chawang Kut or Khodau etc.
    • It is a joyous occasion for the villagers who have abundant food stores after a year of hard work. This festival is celebrated every year on 1 November.
  • Ramzan Id:- 

    • Ramzan Id is the most popular festival of Manipuri Muslims (Meitei Pangal) in Manipur and is celebrated with a general sense of joy and celebration like in other parts of the Muslim world.
  • Chumpha: Festival of the Tangkhul Nagas:- 

    • Chumpha Festival, celebrated for seven days in the month of December, is an important festival of the Rangkhul Nagas.
    • This festival is organized after the harvest. The last three days are devoted to social gatherings and revelry.
  • Christmas: Festival of Christians:- 

    • Christmas is the biggest festival of all Christians, which is celebrated with joy and piety for two days on 24th and 25th December.

FAQ

Ans. Kangla, Imphal, Manipur

Ans. To promote and strengthen the relations between the hill tribes of the state and the valley people.

Ans. Kabui Nagas

Ans. Yaoshang/Yoshang

Ans. N. Biren Singh

Ans. Imphal

Ans. Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of Manipur
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