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Manipuris Yaoshang festival concludes

By EMN Updated: Mar 09, 2015 9:36 pm

Our Correspondent
IMPHAL, March 9

Manipuri way of mainstream festival Holi locally known as Yaoshang, the greatest festival of the State has concluded today with various forms of merry making activities and sports extravaganza in localities level.
As the celebration of the festival which commences on full moon day, continues at their respective localities or villages, the busy Imphal town and almost all roads leading to the State capital wore a deserted look for the continuous fifth day today.
Most of the government offices, private establishments including the publishing houses and others in the State also remained closed for the fourth day today.Though some of the government offices begin to open, the attendance of the employees was very thin. Imphalites and other living in the State had been witnessing the colourful annual festival as youngsters armed with pichkaris (water guns) and balloons filled with coloured water sprayed each others as well as passerbys, elders and older also plays pichkaris at the Shree Shree Gobindajee Temple while some organizes grand feasts at different levels.
People in the valley had been listening to the sound of pipers and beating of drums in the night as the young ones continues to perform Thabal Chongba, a Manipuri folk dance where boys and girls form a circle and hold hands and sing and dance, at their respective localities. Unlike the past, the Thabal Chongba was performed using electric tube or CFL lamps along with recorded musical instrumentals. Donations are collected from house to house and the passerbys and the money collected is spent on parties, merry making and in organizing games and sports activities in every localities or colonies.
With the changing times, Sports meet in connection with the Yaoshang festival has become an inseparable part of the Manipuri society. There is hardly any village or locality where Yaoshang festival is observed without any sporting event. Athletes got a shot in the arm, ever since and this happened over the last three decades. Even the 200 plus journalists community in the state organized 4 day Yaoshang sports meet for the fifth time this year wherein the scribes competed in different games and sports events.
In other words, the Yaoshang sports helps in creating the desire to pursue a career in sports in a tiny state of Manipur which hardly has a population of only 0.3% of India’s population. Since 1984, Manipur is proud of having 13 Olympians, fourteen Arjuna awardees, one Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna winner and an equal number of Dhyanchand and Dronacharya awardees besides two winners of the prestigious Padma Sri. Not only has it helped in developing modern sports, it also helps in preserving the losing traditional sports of Manipur.

By EMN Updated: Mar 09, 2015 9:36:04 pm