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IGRMS is organising 'Lai Haroba festival'

Tuesday - October 23, 2018 12:06 am , Category : BHOPAL

Bhopal: The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya is organising 'Lai Haroba festival' at its premises from 22nd to 26th October, 2018. Traditional ritualistic activities will the main features of this 05 days long programme. Lai Haraoba is one of the biggest festivals of the Meitei community of Manipur.

On this occasion N. Sakamacha Singh (Museum Associate, IGRMS) told that Lai Haraoba is one of the biggest festivals of the Meitei community of Manipur. The literal meaning of 'Lai Haraoba' is to please the God and goddesses. It is celebrated by different communities and clans to their respective Umang Lais (guardian deities) to seek blessings and wishes by performing dance and music, costumes, rites and rituals etc. It is celebrated in every nook and corner of Manipur from the month of October/November to May/June once in a year. The Lai Haraoba embodies all the cultural ingredients reckoned in the form of a ritual theatre expressing the indigenous belief of the creation of the Universe. It is an annual festival for appeasement of the ancestral God and goddesses where the creator is pleased for his creation of every life forms on this earth.

A day before the commencement of Haraoba (festival), a ritual of Lai Barton Touba (inviting the Gods) is performed. The first day commences with the opening of shrine (Lai Thong Hangba) in the early morning where people gathers and make necessary preparation for decoration of the shrine and all the cultural belongings and altar of the deities under the strict guidance of the religious functionaries the Amaiba (priest) and the Amaibis (priestess). The day is prepared for summoning the soul (Lai Ikouba) of the Lainingthou (God) and Lairembi (goddess). The devotees present in the ritual function adorns traditional attires; carries the belongings of the deities and move towards the water bodies in two rows. One row represents the male deity while the other row represents the female deity. The procession is led by Amaiba and Amaibi accompanied by Pena Khongba (minstrel player) who sings and dance in the tune of rhythm played by the musicians. From the water body, the souls of the ancestral spirit will be summoned through a thread held from the Isaiphus (earthen pots) carried by the front members of the two rows.Priestess in a traunce communicates the soul of the deities and with due honour and respect it is carried to the shrine where these ancestral spirit will live for the whole days of festival. Minstrels are played by singing awakening song (Lai Yakaiba). People will offer fruits, flowers and vegetables to the God and goddess. The priestess will perform Laimang Phamba (invoking ceremony by the priestess).

Welcoming ritual is performed by offering dance (Jagoi Okpa) to the deities and the haraoba (merry making) continues. In the evening people gathers again at the Laibung (performance area) to perform evening rituals service of Laibou Chongba (ritual for appeasement). The day of Haraoba (festival) concludes with Naosum Eeshei (a minstrel of lullaby). On this occasion a large number of visitor were present.-Window To News
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