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Manipur: Moreh Meitei’s soak in Ema Kondong Lairembi Haraoba festivities

Celebration of Ema Kondong Lairembi Haraoba, a local deity of Moreh, is one of the biggest festivals of the Meitei community in Moreh and will continue till May 13.

One of the most popular festivals of the Meitei community in Manipur, Ema Kondong Lairembi Haraoba, began with full festive fervor in the border town of Moreh on Wednesday.

The celebration of Ema Kondong Lairembi Haraoba, a local deity of Moreh, is one of the biggest festivals of the Meitei community in Moreh and will continue till May 13.

Lai Haraoba is a festival associated with the Meitei people celebrated to please the Umang Lai, the traditional deities. Lai Haraoba means merry-making of the Gods in the Meitei language.

In this festival, the people worship 364 Umang Lai or the local Sylva deities of the forest. The festival is organized as a piece of memory of the contribution of Gods in creating the Universe and it is a celebration of the development of plants, animals, and human beings.

According to folklore, the gods held the first Lai Haraoba on the Koubru hill so that their descendants will imitate them and perform the same rites.

Lai Haraoba is a ritualistic festival of the Meiteis which has been observed since ancient times. It is a ritualistic enactment of how the universe was created according to mythology. It mirrors the entire culture of Manipur and depicts the close affinities between the hill and plain people.

It is a combination of religious recitations, traditional music and dance, traditional social values, and ancient cultural aspects. The first day of the festival also known as Ekoukhatpa in Meitei Language saw a huge number of people take part.

It may be mentioned here that due to Covid restrictions the celebration of the festival was stopped for 2 years.

The festival is also witnessing a healthy footfall of tourists from other parts of the state and beyond who are flocking to the border town of Moreh to take part in the festivities.

First Published: 5th May, 2022 16:49 IST

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