Manipur celebrates Heikru Hidongba

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, September 20, 2018: “Heikru Hidongba” festival of Manipur was celebrated on Thursday with “Hiyang Tannaba” a traditional boat race at Sagolband Bijoy Govinda Thangabat (a moat) in Imphal with pomp and gaiety.

Manipur governor Dr. Najma Heptulla graced the 240th Heikru- Hidongba celebration as the chief guest. It was organised by Shri Shri Bijoy Govinda Sevayet Committee.

Heptulla said it is her second time attending the Heikru Hidongba.

The festival is observed by the Meitei community on the eleventh day of the fortnight of Langban month or September of the Meitei calendar every year. It is considered as an important and joyous festival and has been observed for years at the Moat or Thangapat of Shri Shri Bijoy Govindajee Temple. Recognising the significance of the festival, she instituted the Governor’s Trophy for the Boat Race, she added.

Heikru-Hidongba is a socio-religious ceremony performed every year accompanied with the exciting contest of ‘Hiyang Tanaba’ or Boat Race in the sacred Thangapat Moat of Sagolband, Bijoy Govinda. This festival is not a mere visual festivity but a festival accompanied with the old folklore tradition and culture of the Meiteis and reviving age-old tradition in the form of a festival, she added.

She said Heikru-Hidongba is an annual event performed in the shape of worship and game to commemorate the mysterious way of victory by our heroic fore-fathers over the invincible hordes of foreign aggressors. Heikru-Hidongba festival, therefore, is celebrated based on historical truth. It is also a ceremony to signify the symbol of unity that was once deeply rooted amongst our heroic and loyal forefathers in their struggles for the nation’s peace and freedom, she added.

She also stated that 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.

The governor gave the governor’s trophy, certificates and cash prize of Rs 15,000 to the winner and Rs 10,000 and certificates to the runners-up team of the boat race.

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