Correspondent IMPHAL, Sept 9 - The 241st Heikru Hidongba festival was celebrated in Manipur on Monday. The festival is organised on the 11th day of the Manipuri month Langban to bring prosperity to the community.
Teams taking part in the boat race at Sagolband. – Photo: Imphal Correspondent
Apart from performing religious rituals to predict the fortune of the state, and paying obeisance to the Gods for bountiful blessings, a boat race is the main highlight of the festival. Nongthombam Ongbi Hiyainu, wife of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and MLAs RK Imo and O Lukhoi attended the festival.
Thousands of people thronged the Bijoygobinda Moat at Sagolband in Imphal West district to witness the boat race.
Introduced in 1779, Heikru Hidongba is a festival of great cultural and religious significance where prayers and rituals are performed for prosperity and sanctity. According to the organising committee, a garland is prepared with 108 Heikru (gooseberry) on the day of the race. Another garland is prepared with 108 rice grains, with each grain picked by fingers from its husk.
Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla was the chief guest during last year’s Heikru Hidongba festival.