Yaoshang - Manipur Holi Festival
Nothing could be more holistic and interesting than a week long celebrations of color and festive fervor in Manipur. An unique six-day long Holi festival celebrated in Manipur is the one of kind festival as the rest of the country concludes it in two or three days. Devout believers of Lord Krishna, the Manipuris create an atmosphere of festive fiesta during the celebration of joys as the holy colors paint the people and the streets in a myriad of shades.
The most visited festival by travelers from around the world, it marks an auspicious beginning of life through a path of rightfulness and belief in God. Visitors from across the globe and the country throng to participate in the celebration which is a ‘stress-buster’ in true meaning.
It is interesting to note how Holi is celebrated in Manipur. Here, the festivities continue for six days starting on the full moon day of Phalguna. It may also be noted that the traditional and the centuries old Yaosang festival of Manipur amalgamated with Holi with the introduction of Vaishnavism in the eighteenth century. Besides, there is also a tradition of preparing a thatched hut of hay, twigs and sticks and then set ablaze. The next day boys make groups and play Holi with girls. Girls, in Manipur, are smart and extract money from the boys for playing colors with them.
In religious temples Holi is celebrated with devotees dressing themselves in the traditional white and yellow turbans and sing devotional songs in the Krishna temples. They also play gulal with each other in front of the temple completely submerging themselves in the mirth associated with the festival.
On the last day of the festival, devotees take out procession towards the main Krishna temple, 3 km west of the state capital, Imphal. Here too, devotees perform cultural activities and celebrate.
One of the most appreciated cultural events during the Holi festival in Manipur is the Thabal Chongba. A special Manipuri dance, called 'Thabal Chongba' is also associated with this festival. Thabal, means moonlight and Chongba means dance. This dance is performed on all six-days in every locality and gives a chance to the young boys and girls to meet and greet.
Amenities are plenty nearby with economic hotels and ethnic food options. It is well connected through road and air.