Manipuris celebrate Heikru Hidongba festival
Imphal, Sep. 20 (EMN): The 240th Heikru Hidongba festival, the traditional boat race festival was celebrated in Manipur on Thursday Sep. 20. The festival is observed on the 11th day of the Manipuri calendar month ‘Langban’ (September) month to bring prosperity to the community.
Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla along with legislators – RK Imo (Sagolband), Dr Sapam Ranjan (Konthoujam), O Lukhoi (Wangoi) and Md Abdul Nasir (Lilong), and others attended the festival.
Speaking on the occasion, the governor said that the festival has also a great meaning in the field of moral science and political philosophy. “The more we observe and study this public function, the more we will learn about the heart and soul of our ancestors who sacrificed their most precious lives without the least grumbling for peace and freedom of our people,” he maintained.
Heptulla gave away the Governor’s Trophy and certificates to the winners along with cash prize of INR 15,000 and INR 10,000 to the champion and Runner-up team respectively.
Thousands of people thronged the Bijoygobinda Moat at Sagolband in Imphal West district to witness a boat race organised as part of the traditional ‘Heikru Hidongba’ festival.
Religious rituals were performed to predict the fortune of the state, besides paying obeisance to God for bountiful blessings.
Introduced in the 1779, the Heikru Hidongba is a festival of great cultural and religious significance where prayers and rituals are performed for prosperity and sanctity.
According to organising committee, “a garland is being assembled from one hundred and eight Heikru (Amla) on the day of the race. In between each Heikru, there is a tip of ‘hup’ interspersing the strand. Another garland is being made out of one hundred and eight rice grains, each grain picked by fingers from its husk.”