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The Festival Of The Dead & Alive: Gaan-Ngai In Manipur

Chakaan Gaan-Ngai Festival in Manipur
Chakaan Gaan-Ngai Festival in Manipur (Credit.2924871012)
Manipur is known as the land of festivals as there are nearly 33 communities living in the diverse state. Chakaan Gaan-Ngai is one of the greatest festivals of the Manipuris. It is a mixture of the dead & the living people. The festival of the Zeliangrong people in the state of Manipur is recognized as the post harvest festival where all the farmers are free from all the work done throughout the year & seem to be in a festive mood.

Chakaan Gaan-Ngai:

The factual meaning of Chakaan Gaan-Ngai means the festival of the winter season. 'Chakaan' means a season, 'Gaan' means the winter and 'Ngai' means a festival.

Time of celebration:

This festival begins on the 13th day of the Manipuri lunar month of Wakching every year & lasts for 5 to 7 days. This festival is primarily celebrated by the devotees of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak and the followers of Heraka religion living in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.


There are various sections of the festival. All the people dead in the previous years are paid homage & their graves are well decorated. The 1st day is known as Ngaigangmei & is celebrated by lighting a new fire of wood & bamboo spirits. Next a sacrifice to Tingkao Ragwang is made. A Shouting of Hoi is also made during the festival which followed by dancing, singing & feasting on a wide range. The entire atmosphere fills with the merriment of the crowd as all of them rejoice the festival with great pomp & grandeur. The colorful & attractive dresses of the dancers moving on the typical Manipuri rhythm give a heart breaking experience. All the old & young; children & adults love to be a part of the festival.