Heikru Hidongba festival was observed in Manipur on Thursday. The festival was organised on the 11th day of the Manipuri calendar month ‘Langban’ or September to bring prosperity to the community.
Manipur governor Dr Najma Heptulla along with MLAs RK Imo (Sagolband), Dr Sapam Ranjan (Konthoujam), O Lukhoi(Wangoi) and Md Abdul Nasir (Lilong) and others attended the day’s Heikru Hidongba festival.
Speaking on the occasion, governor Najma Heptulla said the festival has also a great meaning in the field of moral science and political philosophy. “The more we observe and study this public function, the more we will learn about the heart and soul of our ancestors who sacrificed their most precious lives without the least grumbling for peace and freedom of our people,” she said.
Governor also gave the Governor’s Trophy, certificates and cash prizes of Rs 15,000 to the winner and Rs 10,000 and certificates to the runners-up team of the boat race.
Thousands of people thronged the Bijoygobinda moat at Sagolband in Imphal West district this afternoon to witness a boat race organised as part of the traditional ‘Heikru Hidongba’ festival.
Religious rituals were performed to predict the fortune of the state in the days to come, besides paying obeisance to God for bountiful blessings in the year gone by.
Introduced in the 1779, the Heikru Hidongba has been a festival of great cultural and religious significance where prayers and rituals are performed for prosperity and sanctity.
According to organising committee of this year’s festival, a garland is being assembled from one hundred and eight Heikru (Amla) on the day of the race. In between each Heikru, there is a tip of ‘hup’ interspersing the strand. Another garland is being made out of one hundred and eight rice grains, each grain picked by fingers from its husk.
As a religious ritual, the race begins after installing the idol of Lord Vishnu. Later, Heikru or gooseberry is offered to the Lord.