Among the various festivals celebrated in Manipur, Lu-ngai-ni or the seed sowing festival is one of the biggest festivals of Naga tribes of Manipur. This year, the festival was celebrated at Mini Stadium in Senapati district. The function was organised under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC) which was hosted by Naga People's Organization, under the theme "Understanding through culture."
The word "Lui - Ngai - Ni" is taken from three different Naga languages. "Lui" comes from "Luiraphanit", a Tangkhul word for seed sowing festival, "Ngai" means festival in Rongmei language and "Ni" is a Mao word for the seed sowing festival.
Gracing the festival, Printing and Stationary Minister, Losii Dikho urged the people of Manipur to plant more trees and stressed on the need to create a green environment.
Speaking at the event, Loshi Dikho, Minister PHED, Printing and Stationery said, "Today we have celebrated the occasion and displayed our culture. We are going to sow the seed for our people for our land. It is important for us to know that we need to plant the seeds for a better harvest."
He further added, "This year too, the festival was a big cultural exchange among various ethnic communities of the state."
The festival also marks the start of the year for the Nagas. During the festival the tribes of Anal, Mao, Poumai, Tangkhul, Zeme, Rongmei, Monsang, Maring, Tarao, Chothe, Chiru, Thangal attended the festival to showcase their rich cultural heritage.
Bamboo pole climbing competition was also performed during the festival. Bamboo climbing is one of the most physically challenging games of Nagas played only during a special occasion.
The main highlights of the program were lighting of the sacred fire, traditional log drum beating and traditional fire making.
The two-day event was attended by ministers and several state dignitaries.
UNC President Khojo started the event by hoisting the flag followed by traditional dance and songs by Tangkhul, Monsang,Poumai and Thotreiso keishing.
As part of the celebration, youths performed lighting of sacred fire in traditional form. Cultural dance and songs were also performed.
Lui-Ngai-Ni celebrations over the years have evolved to adding in dashes of modernization and are now also an occasion for youths to connect with their roots.
It brings in a message of peace, serenity, and peaceful co-existence not only for the Nagas but also for the people of the region.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)