The vibrant festivals of Manipur

Manipuri Maiden preparing for Kang festival Yatha jatra festival

Manipur dons its best and brightest colours during festivals. Here’s a glimpse of some of the celebrations of the state’s rich culture through music, dance, cuisine, and sports.

KANG (RATH YATRA)

Held in honour of Lord Jagannath (June–July), kang literally means a chariot. As the kang passes by on the street, people provide offerings to the idols of the gods and goddesses in it.

 

MANIPUR SANGAI FESTIVAL

The Manipur Sangai Festival (21–30 November 2017) is the grandest cultural festival in the state and celebrates its classical dance traditions, intricate art forms, martial arts, and indigenous sports.

LAI HARAOBA

Invoking the Umang Lais or forest deities, Lai Haraoba (April–May) is a series of ritual pageants on the stories of creation recreated by the Meities each year. Six types of Lai Haraoba dances are usually performed during the festival.

HEIKRU HIDONGBA

This boat festival (September) is celebrated in early autumn. Boat racers are dressed in traditional costumes and the race takes place at the Thangapat pond in Imphal.

YAOSHANG (DOL JATRA)

The festival of colours, Yaoshang (March), is a five-day celebration that begins on Lamda Purnima or full moon.

 

GAAN NGAI

Celebrated by the Zeliangrong tribes, this five-day festival (December–Jan) marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the new year.

SAJIBU CHEIRAOBA

The celebration of the Meitei New Year (April) is marked by spring cleaning and the preparation of grand feasts.

All images by: Manipur Tourism Board/ Manipur Photography Club

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