Imphal: Yaoshang festival, Manipur version of Holi began on Sunday with religious and cultural fervour amid Covid-19 restrictions.
The five-day long celebration began with the burning of ‘yaoshang’ which is constructed with bamboo and straws at every locality in the valley.
The festival is celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm commemorating the birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
It begins on full moon day of the Meitei Lunar month of Lamta (February-March) and celebrated for five days.
The highlight of the festivities are collection of donations from households by children dressed in their best attires, playing with colours and water.
Thabal Chongba, a traditional Manipuri folk dance where boys and girls hold hands, sing and dance in a circle is one main evening event.
On the first day of the festival, the members of local clubs in Imphal collected sacred fire for their torch rallies as part of the opening of sports activities.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh appealed the people to celebrate Yaoshang festival by observing Covid appropriate behaviours as he greets people.
“As we rejoice in the festivities, we must not forget to observe Covid appropriate behaviours to protect ourselves from the pandemic. This year, in view of Covid pandemic, usual mode of celebrations such as ‘thabal chongba’ and ‘jatrawali’ have been prohibited with protection of the community as the primary objective. I solicit the support of our people in implementing these drastic measures,” the chief minister said on the eve of the 5-day festival.
Manipur government has issued an order prohibiting Thabal Chongba in this Yaoshang (Holi festival) in wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
Selected sports events other than contact sports were permitted to oganise subject to observation of relevant SoPs.