In major parts of the country, the festival of colors in esteemed as Holi, however, in Manipur, it is Yaoshang. Observed for the continuous five days, the festival of Yaoshang is celebrated with full exuberant and is counted amongst the top festivals of Manipur. Whether young or old, everyone takes part in the festival and solemnized it with their traditional songs and dance performances. However, the main attraction of the beautiful of Yaoshang is the traditional Thabal Chongba dance. The word ‘Thabal Chongba’ stands for ‘Moonlight Dance’, and hence, it is performed during the night. Various folk songs are also sung by the locals to which the beats of Dholkar (a drum) give the perfect compliment. On the first day of Yaoshang, for the festival, children collect the money from the neighbouring houses. This festival has a lot of similarities with the popular Hindu festival of Holi, and thus, the way of celebration is also quite similar.
Colours are one of the significant aspects of this beautiful festival; locals apply colors on the faces each other and children can be seen splashing water to the people with water guns (pichkari). However, unlike Holi, the festival runs for a continuous five days. In the state, the festival of Holi means burning, and therefore, in order to pay their reverence, there is a ritual of building a hut and set it on fire. Along with that, during the course of this festival, a number of sports activities like races, soccer and tug of war are also organized in Manipur. However, the inauguration of this sports meet is organized at Kangla Fort in Imphal. Not just this, the celebration of this amazing Manipuri festival also includes local delicacies that are shared with the people. On a whole, Yaoshang is one of the most ebullient festivals in Manipur that are celebrated by everyone, irrespective of their community, age and gender.
Celebration Dates & Month
Yaoshang is a five-day festival that starts from the full moon day of Phalguna month (February - March).
Highlights of the Festival
- The festival of Yaoshang is celebrated for five days.
- People apply colors on faces of each other while the children also play with the water guns.
- Children go out from home to home to collect the money to celebrate the festival.
- Local delicacies are prepared during the festival and are shared with family and friends.
- As a part of the celebration, a hut is specially built to set on fire by the people during the night.
- Folk dancing and singing is the major part of this beautiful festival of Manipur.