Manipur is rich in culture and biodiversity. Also known as the “Jewelled Land,” Manipur shares the boundaries with Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west. Well, did you know February 15 is a bank holiday in Imphal, the capital of Manipur? Reason? Lui-Ngai-Ni.
What is Lui-Ngai-Ni?
For the unversed, it is an important agrarian festival celebrated among the tribes of Manipur. It’s basically a seed-sowing festivity celebrated by the Naga tribes. Lui-Ngai-Ni talks volumes about its culture and heritage. The residents of Imphal are gearing up to celebrate Lui-Ngai-Ni, on February 15, which is believed to be the commencement of the spring season.
Bank Holidays in Manipur
Bank holidays in Manipur in 2023 include regional festivals and fairs, national events and state and central government holidays. One such day is February 15, when Lui-Ngai-Ni will be celebrated. Lui-Ngai-Ni became an iconic festival in the mid-1980s. It became a state holiday in Manipur in 1998.
The word Lui-Ngai-Ni is made up of three words in different Naga languages. ‘Lui’ is a short form of ‘Luiraphanit,’ which means ‘seed sowing festival’ in the Tangkhul language. The word ‘ngai’ is the Rongmei word for ‘festival,’ and ‘ni’ also translates to ‘seed sowing festival’ in the Mao language.
Lui-Ngai-Ni: The Festival of Manipur
Talking more about the festival, the day witnesses various cultural programs including dances and folk songs that are close to the local communities there. People also get to see indigenous sports like oiled bamboo pole climbing among others on this day.
One of the most important motives behind celebrating Lui-Ngai-Ni is to offer prayers to God so that he blesses the devotees with a good harvest. All the dance, sports and other activities are a part of the celebrations intended to please the Gods.
The Naga tribes participating in Lui-Ngai-Ni include Mao, Maram, Poumai, Liangmai, Maring, Tarao, Chothe, Anal, Kharam, Koireng, and Thangal, among others.
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