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Yaoshang Festival: Celebrating Culture, Sports, and Togetherness in Manipur


Yaoshang Festival: Celebrating Culture, Sports, and Togetherness in Manipur


Manipur, a happy land of many high-spirited festivals that’ll make you visit it over and over again. Hardly a month passes by without a joyous festival in this hilly town. Kut, Lai Haraoba, Yaoshang, or Chumpha, all these Manipur festivals show the spirit, rich culture, and togetherness of the people of Manipur.
Yaoshang is a major festival celebrated in Manipur, a state in northeastern India, which usually falls in the month of March. It is a seven-day long festival that marks the arrival of spring and is also known as the ‘Holi of Manipur’. But unlike Holi, the celebrations go far beyond just colours. The festival is celebrated with singing, dancing and many other traditional performances. It is celebrated with high spirits by the young and the old, irrespective of their gender and age. People from different communities come together to take part in the celebrations.
The primary idea behind Yaoshang sports is to steer the energetic youth away from veering towards drugs and alcohol and encourage them towards sports and games in the state which is already known as the powerhouse of sports in the country
During the festival, people clean their houses, wear new clothes and decorate their homes with flowers. The main feature of Yaoshang is the Thabal Chongba dance, which is performed by young boys and girls holding hands and dancing around a bonfire. It is a typical Manipuri celebration of get-together by the night under the full moon. Strangers and friends alike get along with each other for the dance the dance is accompanied by folk songs and music.
Married women also organize their Thabal Chongba event during Yaoshang. This is called ‘MouThabal’
Another important aspect of the festival is the exchange of gifts and sweets among family and friends. On the last day of the festival, a grand procession called ‘Ningol Chakouba’ is held, where married women visit their parental homes and are welcomed with feasts. Ningol Chakouba’ rejuvenates family ties and strengthens the bonds of love and affection between brothers and sisters, parents and daughters, helping in promotion of unity and integrity in society.

Their belief and superstitions have always charmed foreigners. Hence, a small place like this should be explored and admired.


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