The beautiful tribe of Naga has numerous festivals that are celebrated at places wherever this ethnic group is residing. On the list of those numerous popular Naga festivals, Lui-Ngai-Ni is a popular name. Observed by the Naga clan of Manipur, Lui-Ngai-Ni is known as the seed-sowing festival. Every year, this Manipuri festival is celebrated towards the beginning of the spring season with so much zeal and ardour. The festival commemorates the season of seed sowing and is also embarks the beginning of the new year for the people of Naga clan. However, the name Lui-Ngai-Ni derives from three different types of Naga languages; the first word “Lui” stands for Luiraphanit”, which means seed sowing festival in Tangkhul language. The second word “Ngai” is a Rongmei word which also means festival and the last one “Ni” derives from Mao language which also means seed sowing festival. Basically, the Lui-Ngai-Ni festival brings the time of festivity and rejoice where the local Nagas pay their homage to the gods of crop and also pray for their good health and wealth.
Nagas of Manipur, which include Mao, Tangkhul, Moyon, Anal, Tarao, Chothe, Koireng, Thangal, Puimei, Monsang, Lamkanq, Chiru, Kharam, Maram, Poumai, Zeme, Linangmai, Rongmei, and Maring, come together at a pre-decided location to celebrate the festival. Here, these tribes display their opulent cultural heritage through various performance including folk dances, music, attire shows, drum beating, lightning of fire, and much more. Over the year, the celebration of this most celebrated festival of Manipur has received a tremendous evolution with the dash of modernization, and hence, it now gives youths a chance to connect with their culture. The festival also proffers a major platform to various local artists and musicians to show their talent to the world. Along with the Nagas of Manipur, the people of Naga tribe from Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh can also be spotted at the festival as invitees. On a whole, the festival of Lui-Ngai-Ni signifies peace, love and unity amongst the people of Naga clans from various regions.
Celebration Dates & Month
Every year, the festival of Lui-Ngai-Ni is celebrated towards the beginning of spring season, and hence, is observed on 14-15 February. With the festival, the new year of Manipuri clan also starts.
Highlights of the Festival
- During the festival celebration various cultural programmes are organized; amongst those lightning of sacred fire is one popular cultural performance.
- Traditional dances and singing can also be enjoyed at the festival.
- Traditional drum beating performance is also observed at the festival.
- Since Lui-Ngai-Ni is a seed sowing festival, people paid their reverence to the gods of the crop.