Manipur, a land of colourful people and places in the north eastern region of India has no dearth of occasions to promote tourism. The ideal time for the tourists to visit this enchanting land is November-December. In a bid to boost the booming sector, the Manipur Government organizes the Sangai festival in the fag-end of November each year in a big way.
The festive people find out here a great occasion to showcase and promote their beautiful art and culture, handloom, handicrafts & fine arts, indigenous sports, cuisines & music, eco & adventure sports as well as the scenic natural beauty and bounty.
Till 2010, it was known as the tourism festival. But later it was renamed as Sangai festival to popularize the state animal which is a gentle brow antlered deer known as Sangai deer. People from the country and aboard join the week long tourism festival where fashion and rock shows find no less prominence apart from the various culture and tradition of the Manipuri tribal people.
Prominent dances that pull crowd include Makokching Kom Dance, Mao dance , Maram Dance, Zemei dance, Crab dance, waterfall dance and Thadou dance. These are apart from a musical composition based on traditional percussions. The festival, in fact, projects Manipur as a hub of culture, adventure tourism and sports showcasing art, culture, theatre, eco-adventure opportunities, sports and natural beauty.
The gala event attract more than 500 tourists from China, Myanmar, Thailand and other countries apart from thousands of domestic tourists. Artists from different tribes from the states, Basically from the north east, mesmerize the audience with their performances.
Aimol Dance from Chandel district, warrior dance of the Maring tribe, Khukhuri dance of the Nepalese and dance from Zeilangrong strike no less attention.
Another salient feature of the event is the Asian theatre festival where the artists from the north-east shared their experiences with their counterparts from countries like Thailand and Japan. The tourists take delight of the men folk who participated in the boat race. The adventure related events like boat race and water skiing at Loktak Lake pulls more tourists during this festival.
The festival assumed more significance after it started celebrating the ethnic diversity of the entire Manipuri society amid the participation of various states and foreign countries.