It is one of the major festivals among the tribes of Manipur, Lui-Ngai-Ni champions the Naga culture and heritage. The word Lui-Ngai-Ni means seed sowing, which forms the root of the festival. It usually takes place between 14 and 15 February during the commencement of the spring season.
The Naga tribes participating in the festival include Mao, Maram, Poumai, Liangmai, Maring, Tarao, Chothe, Anal, Kharam, Koireng, and Thangal, among others. All the tribes converge as a gesture of unity and showcase their cultural heritage.
How celebrations take place?
Cultural dances and folk songs form the core of the festival. Indigenous sports like oiled bamboo pole climbing take place on this day. Drum thumping, showcasing cultural attire, and fire acrobatics galore as people from different villages gather to witness the programs. The popular belief is that if people offer prayers to the Gods, the latter will bless them with a rich harvesting season. The dances, songs, and other activities that adorn the festival is considered as part of the ritual to please the Gods.
Although the festival is observed in all the inhabited regions of Manipur, the main event takes place in the villages of Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel, and Tamenglong.
So, if you are planning to visit the North East next year, don’t forget to witness this festival. It’s considered as the second biggest festival after the Hornbill where all the major Naga tribes participate.