Imphal, January 9, 2017: The Meitei community today widely celebrated the Emoinu festival worshipping the mother goddess of wealth, peace and prosperity, Emoinu.
Emoinu Eratpa ritual is performed at home and in public places on the 12th of the Wakching month in the Manipuri lunar calendar. According to a Meitei myth, goddess Emoinu lands on earth every year on this day and visits each home to shower her blessings.
People light candles and decorate with lights at home to welcome the goddess. A well-prepared meal with the main dish of white fish curry is offered to the deity, who takes rest at funga lairu (traditional fireplace in the kitchen). Lord Sanamahi is also offered with vegetables, fruits and husked rice to seek blessing for prosperity.
According to history, the worship of Emoinu began in the 5th century when only the royal family worshipped the goddess.
Later in the 15th century, the common people also began to worship Her. The Goddess is worshipped both by the Hindu Meitei and the Sanamahi Meitei.
Guna Ningthoujam, a local lady talking to Pothasang said, “Even if we worship Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess, we cannot forget our ancestral goddess of wealth. We pray to grandmother Emoinu to protect our family from evil and bless us with peace and prosperity.”
Apart from worshipping Emoinu at home, rituals of Emoinu worship were also organised at the community level. At Wangkhei Ningthem Pukhri Mapal in Imphal East district the festival was organised with great fanfare.
Organised under the aegis of League of Callow Patriots since 1978, the celebration began with the invocation of Pena Yaikairol and offering of seasonal vegetables, fruits, traditional sweets and clothes to the goddess. In the afternoon, a fire place is lit up to welcome the Goddess. Music and dance performances are also presented in the evening.
The deputy chief minister of the state, Gaikhangam greets the people on the auspicious occasions of Emoinu and Gan-Ngai. Gan-Ngai is the festival of Kabui community of the state that would begin tomorrow and celebrate for five days. Gaikhangam wished for the blessings of peace and progress in the state with the celebrations of the festivals.
The festival is also celebrated at Yumnam Leikai Lairembi Lampak in a grand manner besides celebrating the festival of light at different locations organised by local clubs and civil society organisations.
People wishes for a peaceful state where there is no bloodshed and social unrest.