Nurtured by the mighty Himalayas, the state of Manipur is known for its eternal beauty, majestic hills, opulent greenery and the pacific ambiance. The description of this enticing state is not complete without its beautiful cultures, traditions and most importantly numerous vibrant festivals that are celebrated here throughout the year. Of those many festivals in Manipur, Cheiraoba is a popular one that holds a great significance in the hearts of the locals. Cheiraoba festival celebrated in the entire Manipur to mark the beginning of a new year, the festival. During this festival, people wear their traditional costumes and the local deity is worshipped. Along with that, there is also a tradition where gifts are exchanged amongst families and friends. Though, Chriraoba is a Hindu festival, yet, it is celebrated also by the Muslims of the region. As per the locals, this popular Manipuri festival signifies a strong bond of love amongst the family members. Days before the festival, people start cleaning their home and also decorates them and when the occasion of the Cheiraoba comes, they arrange a joint family feast at their houses. In this feast, traditional cuisines are prepared that are offered to the local deity at the entrance gate of the houses. After having the meals, in the afternoon, people perform a special ritual where they reach to the top of nearby hills to offer their prayers to the deity. According to their beliefs, it would help them to achieve the greater heights and a prosperous life. At various locations of Manipur valley, a folk dance - Thabal Chongba is organized by the locals to celebrate this beautiful festival.
Celebration Dates & Month
The festival of Cheiraoba is observed on the first lunar day of Sajibu month, which is March/April.
Highlights of the Festival
- The festival of Cheiraoba is mainly celebrated by the Meiteis (a major tribal community of Manipur).
- With this festival, the new year of Manipur begins.
- During the festival, a joint family meal is organized by the locals.
- Local deity is worshipped during the festival and to offer their prayers, people climb to the top of the nearby hills.
- Another ritual to pay homage to the deity is that people prepare the traditional food and offer them to the deity at the entrance gate of their homes.