Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Manipur celebrates Ningol Chakouba with fervour


A photo of a married woman clad in traditional attire going to her parental house for a special feast went viral on social media as Manipur celebrated Ningol Chakouba, the biggest non-religious festival on Thursday.
On this auspicious occasion, married women are invited to a special feast at their parental houses.
The families of the parental houses welcome their daughters and her children on this special occasion and enjoy the special feast together.
This festival is usually celebrated in accordance with the Meetei lunar calendar. It is celebrated on the second day of Hiyangei, the eighth month of the lunar calendar, usually in the last week of October or in the first week of November.
After the feast, parents, brothers offer a gift each to the married daughters and sisters. In return, daughters and sisters will wish them a prosperous and happy future. The festival of Ningol Chakouba portrays the selfless love of the parents towards their daughters. Considered a wonderful occasion to visit the house of the parents, married women of Manipur eagerly wait for the festival to meet their family members.
The parents on the other hand elaborately prepare for the special event and extend a warm welcome to their daughters and grandchildren. Apart from celebrating at homes, many CSOs also hosted grand feasts to celebrate the day by inviting women of different communities, specially widows and weaker sections of the society.
Interestingly, the festival which was earlier celebrated only by the Meeteis has been expanding to other communities of the state.
Apart from tribal families, Meetei Pangal (Muslims) and even non-Manipuris living in the state also celebrated the festival by inviting their married daughters and sisters for a feast in their respective houses.
Manipur Governor La Ganesan, chief minister N Biren Singh, ministers and others extended their greetings and best wishes to the people, especially to the women section of the society on the occasion.
“Ningol Chakouba rejuvenates family ties and strengthens bonds of love and affection between brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters and fathers and daughters, helping in promotion of unity and integrity in the society,” the Governor said in his greeting to the people on the occasion.
It was a very happy and significant occasion on which the married women come to their parental houses along with their children and enjoy a sumptuous feast and receive Dakshina (gifts) as a token of love and affection, he said.
The chief minister, in his message, asserted that Ningol Chakouba is one of the biggest festivals of Manipur which celebrate the unbreakable bond of love between brother and sister and which reinforce the parental care and affection for married daughters.
Singh added that the festival has now been extended to other communities, states and countries as well though it was primarily a festival of the Meitei community in the beginning.
“The festival also promotes the feeling of peaceful co-existence and harmonious living by reaffirming our faith in the traditional value of love and protection,” he said.

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