» »Yaoshang – The Spring Festival of Manipur

Yaoshang – The Spring Festival of Manipur

By Siji Ram

Yaoshang is one of the festivals celebrated in Manipur. It is celebrated during spring in the month of Phalguna (February-March) which starts on the full moon day, for 6 days. It is celebrated by the Hindus and the indigenous traditions of the place.

Yaoshang is one of the major festivals of Northeast India. Due to its similarity of the Indian festival Holi, it is often referred to as the 'Holi of Manipur'.


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The festival of Yaoshang is celebrated with singing, dancing and other traditional performances by the residents of Manipur. Celebrated by the young and old of the place, one of the highlights of the festival is the Thabal Chongba dance, a traditional folk dance of the region. Thabal Chongba can be translated to 'Moon light dance', which is thus performed during the nights. The dance is performed with several folk songs being sung, using the Dholakar (a drum).

On the first day of the festival, children go from house to house collecting money for the festival. Like Holi, the locals celebrate this festival with a lot of colours, using syringes and pichkaaris to splash the colours at each other and get drenched.


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In Manipur, the literal meaning of Holi is 'burning'. Thus, a hut is built and set on fire as a part of the celebrations. Another speciality of Yaoshang from the Holi celebrated in other parts of the country is that Yaoshang is also a festival of sports. Contests and races like spoon racing, mathematical racing, tug of war and soccer are held here. The inauguration of the sports meet generally takes place at the Kangla Fort in Manipur.

The festival also includes preparation of great local food and sharing them. Yaoshang is celebrated by everyone in Manipur, irrespective of their age and gender.


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Other Festivals in Manipur

Manipur is one of the states that celebrate the culture at its fullest. Some of the festivals that take place here are Kut Festival, Kabui Nagas, Cheiraoba, Kang, Heikru Hitongba, Ningal Chak Kouba and Lui Ngai Ni.

Major Travel Destinations of Manipur

Some of the major destinations of Manipur are Imphal, Chandel, Thoubal, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Bishnupur.

Travel to the land of Manipur to be a part of one of their local festivals and their rich culture.

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