People throng at Ima Keithel on Cheiraoba eve

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Imphal: Large number of people thronged at Khwairamband Ima Keithel, a unique women market in Imphal City, to procure materials to celebrate Cheiraoba, traditional New Year Day despite of the surge in Covid cases in Manipur.

Cheiraoba is celebrated in two days by Meitei/Meetei community. One is celebrated on the first day of Sajibu month of Manipuri Calendar that falls on Tuesday, while the second is celebrated on the first day of Vaisakha month of solar calendar (as per Hindus belief) in Sajibu that falls on Wednesday.

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The first Cheiraoba, known as Sajibu Nongma Paanba Cheiraoba is observed mainly by believers of Lord Sanamahi, while the second Cheiraoba is celebrated by the people who follow Hinduism.

On these days people offer flowers, vegetables and fruits to the almighty in the names they believe. Every family who celebrate the New Year prepare sumptuous food items and merrily dine lunch together. In the afternoon, people climb hills.

Married women visits their parental homes ahead of the festival to offer gifts to their brothers and parents and seek blessings from them.
Even if the first day of every lunar month was declared to shut down to clean the market place, Ima Keithel will be opened on Tuesday in view of the traditional New Year celebration, a vendor of the market told Pothashang.

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