Zeliangrong community’s Gaan-Ngai festival begins
IMPHAL, JanUARY 3
Gaan Ngai, the biggest annual post-harvest festival of the Zeliangrong tribes of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, began in Manipur on Saturday.
Making of holy fire for purification of the community, the congregational prayer of hoi and colourful dances marked the formal inaugural of the five day festival which heralds the closing of the old year and arrival of the New Year.With a series of dance and musical sequence, the State level Gaan Ngai festival was celebrated with the State Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam as the chief guest at the inaugural function at MahaKabui Namching village under Senapati district.
Besides Gaikhangam who holds the home portfolio, Commerce and industries minister Gobindas Konthoujam,Agriculture minister Md Abdul Nasir and MLA TN Haokip also attended the inaugural function which was organised by state level gaan ngai festival celebration committee.
The Gaan Ngai festival of the Zeliangrongs which comprise of Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei tribes, according to folklore, originated in the ancient village of Makuilongdi.
With the beginning of the festival, almost all the Rongmei (kabui) inhabited localities in the state particularly in in Imphal were illuminated with colourful electrical lights and other colourful decoration like the Diwali night. The state Governor Dr KK Paul and Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh have greeted the people of Zeliangrong community in the state on the occasion of the festival. Gaan Ngai festival is the festival of winter season for the Zeliangrong community and it is celebrated to pay respect and homage to those departed souls who left this ephemeral world in the preceding year, Governor said in his message.
It also symbolizes the end of a year giving into a major cultural event of not only the Zeliangrong community but of other communities as well regardless of caste, creed or religion. Terming the festival as a biggest cultural and religious post harvest festival, Chief Minister Ibobi said,“It is also an institution through which the community sustains their cultural heritage and way of life.